LAKE CHARLES, LA. (KVHP) - Country Club Road is now the home of a brand-new Goodwill Donation Center.
This center will provide more than just a place to drop-off clothing or household goods donations.
"We're going to make our center available for job training for those individuals with autism," said Goodwill Southwest Louisiana President Randy Jones.
This center will also house the new Autism Transitional Work Training Program specifically for adults with autism.
"We started about a year ago, looking at the opportunity to do a specific transitional work experience program for people on the autism spectrum," said Admissions Service Director Greta Williams. "Some of the barriers that they have and the functional limitations that are created by those barriers keep them from getting into the competitive workforce."
Willis said they've hired someone that works with individuals who have autism spectrum disabilities.
"She is going to help us help these people learn some discernment skills, some sorting skills, some pricing skills, in addition to all of the soft skills like showing up on time and learning how to communicate and the once they learn those skills and can do them here, we can transfer them to our store where they can do those same types of things working in our store," said Willis.
Jones is excited about the program and also believes this new donation center will help bring jobs to our area.
"The more items that we receive here at this donation center, the more items we'll be able to sell at our stores and the more items we'll recycle so that will create more jobs throughout our entire network," said Jones.
This center already has four people set to start working next week and without donations and people shopping in local Goodwill stores, Willis believes this program wouldn't be possible.
"Without the revenue from our retail stores and without the donations, we're going to get in this center we wouldn't be able to have this particular program in this donation center," said Willis.
The new center will be open seven days a week.
If you or someone you know would like to participate in the Autism Transitional Work Training Program, you can call the admissions services number at 337-310-1882.