Goodwill opens 30th East Tenn. location in Loudon
DREW GARDNER-6 News Reporter

LOUDON (WATE) - Goodwill Industries of Knoxville hit a milestone Friday, opening its 30th store in East Tennessee.

The new location is on Highway 72 in Loudon.

"It really allows us to continue our mission," said Goodwill spokesperson Erin Rosolina. "We're recycling clothing here and then we're getting in money to provide vocational training and employment opportunities for people in East Tennessee who might have a barrier to employment of some kind."

Much of that takes place at the Kingston Pike location where each day dozens of people are being armed with the tools they need to help change their lives.

"I love the look on people's faces when they ask where I went to school, and I say Goodwill," said James Tyson.

Tyson was homeless when he was first told about Goodwill's vocational training programs, but after completing the C.N.A. course, he's now working at UT Medical Center.

Tyson says not only did Goodwill give him the skills, it also gave him great tips in his job search including submitting multiple applications for the UT job.

"Had it not been for that I would have entered the application once and would have thought they didn't notice me and I would have tried to move on somewhere else," said Tyson.

Tyson is now living on his own and looking to grow his career at UT and eventually move into patient counseling, something he says he would have been impossible without Goodwill.

"Had I not went through the program I would probably still be sitting down at KARM saying, 'hmm I wonder what I'm going to do."

"It's so rewarding because we can see the people who come through they have so much personal attention and they are really being positively impacted by are programs," added Rosolina.

They hope now with this new store they will be able to impact many more.

For more information about Goodwill’s vocational programs, click here.