Fact-Check: Plans For Goodwill Location Closings in 2022

Joel Eisenberg

2021 closures due to pandemic-era difficulties, and recently-reported controversies, have led to speculation of further shutterings within the current calendar year.

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Author’s Note

This article is based on corporate postings and accredited media reports. Linked information within this article is attributed to the following outlets: Wikipedia.org, RentechDigital.com, ABC7News.com, Cracked.com, and Google.com.

Introduction

Wikipedia features a comprehensive overview of Goodwill Industries: Goodwill Industries International Inc., often shortened in speech and writing to Goodwill (stylized as goodwill), is an American nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that provides job training, employment placement services, and other community-based programs for people who have barriers to their employment. Goodwill Industries also hires veterans and individuals who lack either education, job experience or face employment challenges. The nonprofit is funded by a network of 3,200+ retail thrift stores which operate as independent nonprofits as well.

According to RentechDigital.com‘s more current count: There are a total of 4245 goodwill locations in United States as of April 21, 2021 The state with the most number of Goodwill locations in the United States is Houston with 35 locations, which is 1% of all Goodwill locations in United States.

The numbers are high across the board, but prior to that 2021 count various locations had closed (in March) due to issues related to COVID-19.

Per ABC7News.com’s “Goodwill Closes 8 Stores in Bay Area Amid COVID-19 Pandemic,” Northern California locations were particularly impacted: Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay on Friday announced the closure of eight retail stores in Alameda, Contra Costa and Solano counties, and the layoffs of 61 employees, citing the economic consequences of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The locations closing are in Oakley, Dublin, Livermore, Durant Square in Oakland, Albany, Berkeley, Dixon, and Vallejo.

Though the height of the pandemic has passed, recent online reports have it that other locations are in the early plans of shuttering throughout the current calendar year.

Let us explore further.

Goodwill, 2022

An April, 2022 article published by Cracked.com, “15 Things Goodwill Has Done (That Aren't Widely Known),” has received some recent attention for calling old controversies to the fore.

As excerpted from the article: While their workers toil for little more than ramen and cardboard box money, Goodwill executives routinely earn salaries in the mid six figures. After one CEO was fired precisely because of his outrageous compensation package, which included a country club membership, he still managed to negotiate a $600,000 severance.

Other controversies discussed include alleged workplace discrimination, toxic dumping, and funds received that are allocated to its charity: On a national level, Goodwill uses almost 90% of its money on its charitable programs in relation to the amount it spends on overhead, but at least one regional branch was found to be funding its programs primarily through grants. The funding that did come from retail sales only amounted to about half of its CEO’s salary.

Articles such as this are common online, as a targeted Google search will verify. Largely as a result of last year’s Bay Area closings and subsequent lay-offs of over 60 employees, and the controversies again bought to the public’s attention (also covered in the linked Wikipedia page, above), social media rumor has the company closing its doors in the U.S.

These rumors are, emphatically, false.

Conclusion

Goodwill Industries is a stalwart, and will not be disappearing from the U.S. However, future closures are still widely expected on the part of social media posters based solely on online speculation.

Regardless, I will post any updates on closures here, on NewsBreak, as (or if) they happen.

Thank you for reading.

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I am an award-winning author, screenwriter for film and television, and producer. My mission on News Break is to share socially important perspectives on both culture and pop-culture. Member of PEN America, and the WGA.

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