January 2015

Goodwill Opportunity Campus of Charlotte, NC

THE PROJECT

In January 2015, AMCREF Community Capital provided $7 million of NMTC financing to Goodwill Industries of Southern Piedmont (GISP). GISP began providing services to people in 1965. The Southern Piedmont territory includes 13 counties in North Carolina and five counties in South Carolina. GISP was seeking capital to develop, own and operate a new non-profit community center, the Goodwill Opportunity Campus (Campus). GISP currently operates out of numerous scattered locations that are outdated and over-capacity. The new Campus will enable GISP to consolidate operations and expand their services, including numerous services for low-income people (LIPs), such as job training and employment opportunities. The new Campus will be a 160,000 square foot facility located on an 18 acre site. The facility will also include GISP’s business offices and will be Silver Level LEED certified. GISP currently provides services to over 15,000 individuals per year, with over 1,800 being connected with new jobs in the past year. The recent economic recession greatly increased the demand for GISP’s services (from 7,000 individuals in 2007 to 15,000 individuals in 2013). The Campus will enable GISP to further increase their services by over 65% in the next few years in order to meet the growing demand.

COMMUNITY IMPACT

  • Job Creation and Support: Total of 323 FTEs, including 203 retained and 120 created. Wages are well above the average living wage plus full benefits. Since 1977, GISP has placed over 28,000 people in employment, including 1,850 individuals in 2013. GISP provides career training for “hard to employ” individuals. Barriers may include low education levels, disabilities, chronic homelessness, criminal background or recovery from substance abuse. Construction will create 152 jobs, including providing jobs for clients enrolled in GISP’s Construction Training Program.
  • Environmental Benefits: Established in 1902, Goodwill is one of the first and world’s largest “recycling” organizations. GISP diverted over 49mm lbs of goods from local landfills in 2013 alone. GISP directly recycled 2.9mm lbs of electronics and 200mm additional lbs were recovered through their Dell Reconnect alliance. The new Campus will be LEED Silver certified.
  • Community Support and Impacts: Currently provides services to an average of 300 individuals a day, 86% of whom are living in extreme poverty. The Campus will increase this impact by 50% (up to 450 clients per day). GISP serves at-risk youth, veterans, former offenders, people with disabilities, unemployed and underemployed individuals within the local community. Campus services include a jobs resource center, a mock retail training store, youth center, child care facility, full service kitchen, café offering healthy food options, conference center, computer labs and a medical clinic.
  • Economic / Catalytic Effects: GISP and the construction of the new Campus are strongly supported by regional economic development and community leaders. GISP’s career programs result in increased wages for LIPs (from an average of $9.67 / hr to $11 / hr). GISP programs directly result in a decreased demand for social support benefits (typically $6k to $10k / year) and an increase in the local economy through additional tax revenue.