Twelve Northland Goodwill locations laid off 293 of 312 workers, largely retail and donation processing staff, in May. The jobs lost at the Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin locations are due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Goodwill closed its stores March 19. The nonprofit’s mission is to employ people with disabilities or other barriers to employment.
A small number of employees will stay on staff to help with critical business functions. Staff were paid for scheduled hours between March 19 and April 15.
“We view this decision as difficult, yet a critically necessary step to help our organization survive this crisis and to preserve and protect our Goodwill to continue to serve our community in the future,” President and CEO Marcy Vogt said in a press release. “We are directing people to their state unemployment offices at this time to help support workers and their families. It is our hope and goal to recall laid-off Goodwill team members as our organization rebounds.”
Goodwill is also seeking local and federal support. It’s also asking people to stop donating goods, as the virus lives on surfaces, causing a public health concern for anyone who handles donated goods without proper protection.
(Source: Duluth News-Tribune)