The new location is a larger retail operation that offers customers a greatly improved shopping experience, said Engels, with wider aisles, better product displays and signage, and an enhanced selection of new and gently used merchandise that will be restocked hourly.
"We are very pleased to see Goodwill of the Berkshires opening their new store here in North Adams," said Mayor Richard Alcombright in a statement. "This new model, which combines a more spacious environment and the new boutique concept, should give so many of our residents a wonderful shopping experience. Additionally, in keeping with their mission, they will also provide employment to people with disabilities and training for unskilled workers. I thank Frank Engels and Goodwill for their investment and commitment to our community."
The store features a separate boutique area with upscale designer clothes, shoes and accessories for women and men. Boutique sales benefit Goodwill's Suit YourSelf program, a referral-only service that provides free, personal assistance to individuals selecting donated business attire for job interviews. Additional outfits are provided when Suit YourSelf clients receive jobs.
Goodwill is also bringing customized skill development, job training, and employment placement services to individuals in North County who have disabilities, lack education or job experience or face other employment challenges, said Engels. He also plans to open a SuitYourself program in North Adams early next year, based on the success of this service at Goodwillls Tyler Avenue headquarters.
"Goodwill of the Berkshires is a very community-minded social service agency," said Engels. "Suit YourSelf is one of many vital workforce development programs we provide to our community in collaboration with other area resources, including Northern Berkshire United Way."
Founded in 1956, Goodwill of the Berkshires is considered a sustainable social enterprise that helps all people enhance their quality of life, independence and self-sufficiency through employment training and other support services.
The North County Store and Boutique will be open daily, Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 5.
The public is invited to the Nov. 17 ribbon cutting, which will feature remarks by Alcombright and Engels and activities including a drawings for a tablet computer, store discount coupons and other prizes.
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