March 17, 2016
Goodwill of the Great Plains is planning a major expansion in northwest Sioux Falls.
The nonprofit bought about 5 acres on West 60th Street North across from J&L Harley-Davidson and plans a 20,000-square-foot retail store, office and workforce development training center.
“We identified that area as a growth area,” said John Hantla, president and CEO of the territory, which is based in Sioux City and includes 1.2 million people in all or part of four states.
“There are going to be more rooftops (in northwest Sioux Falls). There’s a business park being developed. We’ve had a presence in the rest of the quadrants, and we wanted to be up there.”
Goodwill plans to continue operations at its other Sioux Falls locations. There are three stores: one at the Norton Avenue office headquarters, one at 10th Street and Kiwanis Avenue, and on 41st Street east of Sycamore Avenue.
Construction on the building is scheduled to start in 2017, and it will be open in 2018.
“We’re thinking half that building will be a physical Goodwill store,” Hantla said. “It will be a good opportunity for people in that part of the community to drop off donations and shop.”
One-quarter of the building will be dedicated to an e-store, which will support shopgoodwill.com, where more specialized merchandise is sold to reach a larger audience.
“There will be training spots for people with disabilities, veterans, new immigrants, potentially students, anyone with a barrier we might be able to help serve,” Hantla said.
The Norton Avenue location has an e-store.
The people who staff it learn a variety of skills, Hantla said.
“They can be online and research the items we’re posting. They upload them. There are shipping jobs. A big part of it is researching individual items, so it’s interesting work.”
It’s also a good example of how Goodwill assists with workforce development, said Joanne Haase, director of mission services.
“They can learn basic computer literacy and Internet skills they wouldn’t normally have an opportunity to do, and that’s very transferable to other jobs outside Goodwill,” she said. “We’re looking at this as more than a store. We need more space to be able to grow our programs.”
Goodwill partners with businesses on tailored workforce development efforts as well. One partnership with Avera Health aims to hire 150 Goodwill clients in three years for jobs such as certified nursing assistants, housekeepers and food service workers.
A recent hiring event put on by Goodwill for Avera jobs drew two dozen applicants.
“We look at our target market as the person with a barrier who needs a link to an employer, and the employer is the other target market because they need that person,” Haase said.
The expanded facility will allow space for more partnerships but “even before that we can start working on those things,” she said. “A lot of Goodwill’s customize their workforce solutions to the needs of the local labor market.”
Goodwill bought the northwest Sioux Falls property from Dale Jans, who also is a member of its board of directors.
“They’re a fantastic organization,” he said. “They’re very mission-oriented. They do so many good things in the community that people don’t realize. They’re a pretty well-kept secret. One of the things they’re concentrated on now is getting people employed, and they’re doing very well with it.”
Courtesy of Jodi Schwan, Sioux Falls Business Journal
Craig Hagen, NAI Sioux Falls represented Goodwill of the Great Plains in the purchase of the land.