PEKIN, Ill. (WMBD) — Goodwill of Central Illinois held a grand opening for the reopening of their Community Employment Center today. The center is located at the back of the Goodwill store on Court Street in Pekin.

Goodwill staff will use the center to work one-on-one with people seeking employment opportunities. A variety of free online classes will be offered as well. This is all possible due to donations and contributions of Goodwill shoppers. Johanna Wagner, the Assistant Director of Mission Services for Goodwill in Central Illinois says that she wants Goodwill shoppers to understand that their money is going towards a good cause.

“They see that logo and they know, ‘that’s the place I donate, that’s the place I shop,’ what they don’t know a lot of times is that when they shop and make their purchases and donate, those funds go to support our programs where we offer them at no cost to the community, so they can see their money and donations go to work, right within the community that we serve in,” Wagner said.

Wagner also mentioned that not only do they want to work with employers, but they also want to make sure clients are satisfied.

“Either getting someone job ready or gaining a new skill, helping them develop a new skill through training, and matching them with an employer that we work with within the community, to get them employment, we want sustainable employment where they’re earning a livable wage to support themselves and their families,” Wagner said.