On February 2, 2024, Skagit Valley residents celebrated the opening of a second Goodwill location for their thrifting and education needs, as a new 32,000-square-foot store officially opened at 506 Crossroads Square in Sedro-Woolley.

The new store, which underwent finishing touches in January, employs around 60 community members and aims to support both local sustainability and economic growth.

The February 2 opening ceremony featured a morning ribbon cutting, as well as prize and gift card giveaways.

“We’re very happy about this store,” says Brent Frerichs, Evergreen Goodwill’s divisional vice president of e-commerce, retail and donations strategy. “We’ve been very fortunate with partnerships: landlords and construction companies and the community. This has been a fairly big project.”

New Goodwill Store in Skagit County

The store’s planning and construction phase – which included moving the walls on each side of the store inward about 30 feet – took a full year to complete, Frerichs says.

Formerly a drug store, the building now features new lighting and fixtures, as well as ample break, office and storage space for employees. The store’s fitting rooms even have motion-activated lighting, and the parking lot has several electric vehicle charging stations directly in front of the store.

In addition to a full line of products ranging from clothes and household items to toys and sporting goods, the new Sedro-Woolley Goodwill has classroom and meeting space for its job training and education program. With a total of five job training and education centers in five counties – King, Kitsap, Snohomish, Skagit and Whatcom – Evergreen Goodwill served more than 8,100 individuals in 2023.

“This room is available for the community to use,” Frerichs says of the classroom space. “If groups want to come in and have meetings in this room, we can get that scheduled. We see it as an opportunity to really further our connection with the community.”

Brent Frerichs (pictured), Evergreen Goodwill’s divisional vice president of e-commerce, retail and donations strategy, led a tour for local media prior to the store’s opening. Photo credit: Matt Benoit

Goodwill Job Training

Goodwill’s job training and education mission provides a litany of services and opportunities both online and in-person, including free adult basic education courses like English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), computer basics and digital skills, GED and high school completion, and citizenship.

For those ages 16 to 24, free youth programs allow young people to explore careers in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) fields, as well as in the aerospace, manufacturing and maritime industries. Goodwill also provides employment and support services for work readiness and employment services, including resume and interview preparation.

All instructors are paid professionals, and many come from nearby learning centers like community colleges.

Eileen Aparis, Evergreen Goodwill’s senior vice president of mission, says that students who come to Evergreen Goodwill are getting much more than an education: they’re getting a chance to remove the barriers keeping them from a successful life.

“It is not about just survival mode,” she says. “It’s about career development, so they can actually provide for themselves and their families. If they can do that, not only does the family thrive, but the community thrives as well.”

Fully-stocked aisles range from clothing and toys to garden tools and sporting goods. Photo credit: Matt Benoit

Skagit Goodwill Expansion

Although Skagit County already has a Goodwill in Mount Vernon, Aparis says they were drawn to Sedro-Woolley as a result of an annual community needs assessment across their five-county service area.

In entering the community, Aparis said Evergreen Goodwill also connected with Sedro-Woolley’s Chamber of Commerce and Mayor Julia Johnson to form a strong relationship.

While some of the new store’s employees came from the Mount Vernon store, many are hires directly from Sedro-Woolley. Because of the time involved in readying the store, Frerichs says those employees received plenty of preparation time.

“We had enough construction time that we could hire people in advance, train them in Mount Vernon, and then move them over here so they’re not coming in cold,” he says.

The new store’s employee break areas have ample space and comfort, including a small relaxation and meditation room. Office space is also larger than at the Mount Vernon location, Frerichs adds.

While the store was partially stocked with donations shipped from the Mt. Vernon store on pallets, it is now taking donations directly. A nearby donation site in the Crossroads Square parking lot had been there for some time, but will now be disbanded due to the store’s presence.

With everything now open and humming along, Evergreen Goodwill hopes to make a great impression on the Sedro-Woolley community, contributing to its sense of community and prosperity.

Goodwill Sedro-Woolley
506 Crossroads Square, Sedro-Woolley

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