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Goodwill Hawaii kicks off construction of Honolulu career and learning center

New Beretania building will feature a new and expanded store and drive-thru donation center, 86 new parking stalls
Honolulu, Hawaii – Goodwill Hawaii kicked off the renovations for a new two-story job training and career center today with a ceremonial groundbreaking at the site of its current Beretania Store and Donation Center (1075 S. Beretania). Once completed, Goodwill’s Honolulu Career and Learning Center will provide more than 6,000 people with employment and educational services to help them secure higher paying jobs and feature an enhanced store and drive-thru donation center.

In its current capacity, Goodwill provides job training and employment services, including free tax filing assistance and financial literacy classes to 3,000 individuals in the Honolulu area. Goodwill Hawaii’s mission is to help people with employment barriers, including at-risk youth, adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, people transitioning from public assistance and post incarceration, to find jobs.

“This groundbreaking is a culmination of years of planning and the hardworking efforts of our board members and staff to see that the Honolulu Career and Learning Center becomes a reality,” said Laura Smith, president and CEO for Goodwill Hawaii. “We are grateful for the support we have received from the community, our Board of Directors, and employees who believe in our mission and ability to provide quality workforce development services that will impact our communities for generations to come.”

The Honolulu Career and Learning Center is expected to be completed in 2019 and will feature all-new classrooms, multimedia equipped training rooms, a state-of-the-art computer lab and community meeting space, as well as an expanded retail store and drive thru donation center, and 86 additional parking spaces. Joining its program offices and retail store into one location allows Goodwill to offer participants on-site job training and potential long-term employment opportunities. The store also serves as a revenue source to support its programs, selling donations received from the community at bargain prices.

In addition to its employment services, Goodwill works with community partners to provide holistic family strengthening services to help participants remove any barriers that may hinder their ability to obtain and maintain employment.
Goodwill Hawaii’s holistic career center model has already proven successful. Its Ohana Career and Learning Center (OCLC) of Kapolei opened in 2008 and is Goodwill’s second largest community-serving location with more than 1,200 people receiving assistance each year. OCLC is also home to Kapolei Charter School by Goodwill Hawaii, a new public charter high school opened in 2017.

During the renovation, Goodwill’s core services will continue to be available on a modified basis. This includes the store, of which a portion will remain open, and the convenient drive-thru donation drop-off center has been temporarily moved to the Diamond Head side of the building on Wong Ho Lane. Goodwill’s popular, free tax preparation services offered during tax season from February through April will also remain open for the community in a smaller capacity.

At the groundbreaking, First Lady Dawn Ige applauded Goodwill Hawaii president and CEO Laura Smith’s efforts for her vision and leadership to bring this much-needed community and career center to Honolulu’s urban core. The ceremony also featured three $50,000 donation presentations from Atlas Insurance Agency & Island Insurance Agency Foundation, Bank of Hawaii Foundation and Central Pacific Bank Foundation. Representative Calvin Say and former Lieutenant Governor Doug Chin were also in attendance.

For more information about the Honolulu Career and Learning Center or Goodwill Hawaii, visit goodwillhawaii.org or call 836-WORK.