Goodwill to open local activities/training center

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By Steve Robb




In addition to soon having a new store in Athens, Goodwill Industries will be opening an adjacent training center.

Marvin Jones, CEO of Goodwill Industries of South Central Ohio, said the Athens Activities and Training Center is expected to open in October or November. The building complex where the new store is slated to open in mid-September also includes other space for lease, and Jones said about 3,600 square feet of that space will be used for the new center.

“We are excited to be able to serve the Athens community with his new center, as it is a great complement to our new retail store which will open in September,” Jones said.

The center will serve developmentally disabled people and is intended to serve some of the current or former clients of Atco Sheltered Workshop, Jones said. Atco is closing at the end of this year.

There are other providers who will serve Atco clients, but after discussions with Atco it was felt there was still a need for the Goodwill program, according to Jones.

Jones explained that the center will be providing training and information to developmentally disabled individuals who want to seek employment out in the community. The number of center employees will depend on the number of clients, but there will be a minimum of three staff members, he said.

Transportation to and from the center will be provided to some clients, depending on where they live, he added. The facility also will provide activities for clients such as art, music and crafts, and there will be field trips, Jones said.

Atco employs developmentally disabled individuals to process items for sale at its stores, and Jones said those who work at the Athens store will able to participant in activities at the center.