History

  • 1927

    Goodwill Industries of Arkansas, Inc. is founded.

  • 1954

    Fire damages the main plant on 7th St. in Little Rock. Goodwill rents a building on Cross St. for temporary operations.

  • 1955-1962

    Five Goodwill stores open.

  • 1956

    Construction completed on Goodwill’s headquarters at 1201 W. 7th St. in Little Rock, providing more than 21,000 sq. ft. for a workshop, storage, offices, chapel and store.

  • 1963

    The Little Rock Goodwill location achieves accreditation by Goodwill Industries of America.

  • 1967

    Established a comprehensive rehabilitation program, employing the first clinical psychologist and serving 123 people with disabilities.

  • 1967-1974

    Goodwill stores open in Pine Bluff, Little Rock and Benton.

  • 1974

    Goodwill receives $1 million award, which is matched by $570,000 in local contributions for construction of a new rehabilitation center at 1110 W. 7th St. in Little Rock.

  • 1976

    Construction is completed on new, 49,000 sq. ft. Goodwill Rehabilitation Center.

  • 1977

    Goodwill launches the Extended Services program, which provides training to individuals with disabilities to further develop skills necessary to succeed in competitive employment.

  • 1981-1991

    Goodwill stores open in Searcy, Jacksonville and Fort Smith.

  • 1985

    Goodwill opens the first attended donation center in Benton, replacing the “drop box” system.

  • 1994

    Goodwill establishes the Vocational Choices Program for at-risk youth. This provided alternatives to incarceration, which included vocational guidance and job placement.

  • 1995

    Goodwill stores open in Texarkana and Jonesboro.

  • 1996

    The Goodwill Rehabilitation Center changes its name to Employment, Education and Training Center.

  • 1997

    Goodwill relocates its Fort Smith store and donation center to 3610 Townson Ave. and opens a new store in Springdale at 1860 West Sunset Ave.

  • 1998

    Goodwill offers Workforce Alliance for Growth in the Economy (WAGE) training and certification in employability, industrial and clerical skills.

  • 1999

    Goodwill opens a donation center in Little Rock at 1801 Green Mountain Dr.

  • 2000

    Goodwill starts Welfare to Work Program to assist welfare recipients in preparing for and obtaining employment. Goodwill opens a new store in Conway at 2425 Sanders St., which has the first donation center with a drive-thru as well as a classroom and office space for people served.

  • 2002

    Goodwill renames headquarters in honor of board member Frank Lyon, Jr., for his contributions to Goodwill. The building is now known as the Frank Lyon Center for Employment, Education and Training Center.

  • 2003

    Goodwill becomes an employment network for Social Security’s Ticket-to-Work Program, which helps disability beneficiaries achieve long-term employment. The Goodwill store in North Little Rock relocates to 6929 John F. Kennedy Blvd.

  • 2005

    Through community support, Goodwill provides assistance to Hurricane Katrina evacuees by contributing more than $43,000 worth of furniture, clothing and household goods to more than 1,700 displaced citizens. Goodwill opens stores in Little Rock at 9700 Rodney Parham Rd. and in El Dorado at 2016 Northwest Ave.

  • 2006

    Goodwill offers free computer literacy training, GED, WAGE and employability skills classes in its El Dorado retail store in partnership with the Adult Education of South Arkansas Community College. Goodwill begins the Health Equipment Link Program Services (HELPs) program, which loans at no charge durable medical equipment to anyone with a temporary need.

  • 2007

    Goodwill begins free resume development and job search assistance services.

  • 2008

    Brian Itzkowitz becomes president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas.

    Goodwill opens a new retail location in Texarkana.

  • 2009

    Goodwill opens:
    o First career center in Little Rock,
    o Training sites in Texarkana and North Little Rock,
    o First Goodwill Clearance Center in North Little Rock,
    o Springdale retail location with job center,
    o Attended donation center in Fayetteville, and
    o Launched the Dell Reconnect Program to recycle unwanted electronics free of charge for area residents.

  • 2010

    Goodwill opens three retail stores in Bentonville, Bryant and Cabot as well as four career centers statewide.

  • 2011

    Goodwill opens retail locations Little Rock and Fayetteville and seven career centers statewide. The Benton retail store moves into new space three times larger than its original location. Goodwill celebrates a new record of serving more than 5,000 people and one million customer transactions.

  • 2012

    Goodwill celebrates its 85th anniversary. Goodwill opens:
    o Four new stores and career centers around the state,
    o A second retail store in Fayetteville on Appleby Road,
    o Jonesboro store in a space three times the size of its original location
    o Retail store and career center in Paragould, and
    o First Goodwill outlet center in Arkansas to sell donated items by the and adds a career center, pound.

    Goodwill launches the POWER Program (Providing Opportunities for Women through Education and Resources) to help low-income women in northwest Arkansas who are unemployed or underemployed.

    Goodwill announces plans to open the Goodwill Resource Center (GRC) in Little Rock. The 576,000 sq. ft. building will house Goodwill’s leadership, production, transportation, programs and other departments.

  • 2013

    Goodwill opens:
    o Ninth location in Little Rock on Hwy. 10, and
    o Retail store in Rogers.

    The Goodwill store in Searcy relocates and opens six days after a fire completely destroys the original location.

    Goodwill introduces Horizons, a job training program serving adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

    Goodwill serves 8,300 people and places 1,280 Arkansans in jobs.

  • 2014

    Goodwill serves 12,350 people, places 2,700 Arkansans in jobs and accepts almost 20 million pounds of donations.

    Goodwill achieves Commission for Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) Accreditation. Goodwill also is named one of America’s Most Inspiring Companies.

    Goodwill serves 12,350 people, places 2,700 Arkansans in jobs and accepts almost 20 million pounds of donations.

  • 2015

    Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson delivers keynote speech at annual awards luncheon.

    Goodwill opens:
    o Second retail store in Hot Springs, and
    o Relocates Pine Bluff retail store to a larger space. Both locations have career centers and career specialists on site to help with job skills, education and career placement.

    Goodwill moves from W. 7th St. to the Goodwill Resource Center and experiences a record-breaking year by serving 17,240 people and placing almost 5,000 people into jobs.

    Goodwill opens:
    o Attended donation center in Russellville, and
    o Attended donation center in Conway.

  • 2016

    Goodwill opens:
    o Retail store and career center in Bella Vista,
    o Second retail store in Fort Smith,
    o First career center in Fort Smith.

    Goodwill serves 25,166 people and places 4,022 Arkansans into jobs.

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