ATLANTA - One of the best days to rack up on good deals a thrift store is the first day it opens and that was certainly the case Thursday when the doors opened at Goodwill's newest location on Metropolitan Parkway. But Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, who was present for the grand opening, said the new store comes with an added benefit for the southwest Atlanta community.
"To be able to have not only a store but a training center, those classrooms and that career center, that's where the magic is gonna happen," said Mayor Dickens, who is also on the Goodwill Board of Directors.
Suzanne Neely lives nearby and just started working at the new store. She said the resources inside the career center helped her beef up her computer skills, update her resume and land her new job.
"It's awesome. I used to go all the way out to Lawrenceville Highway to use their computers. This is going to be great for the community," said Neely, who works in the linen and housewares department.
In an area where many Atlantans are living below the national poverty level, Jenny Taylor, the Vice President of Career Services, said the store has a lot more to offer than just good deals at the register.
"We actually, for the first time, had some of our local neighbors lined up to register for the career center and get a job. They bypassed the deals and went straight to the career center, which is so most important to us because our mission is to put people back to work in our stores and in businesses across the community," Taylor said.
Brian Jacobs said he's just grateful there's a new shopping alternative for families on a budget.
"It's going to save people a lot of money. Instead of going to the mall, you can just come here and spend five to ten bucks," said Jacobs, who lives only a few miles from the new store.
Goodwill executives said 149 Atlantans used the new career center to locate new jobs before the store's official grand opening.