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New $8 million Goodwill campus to bring 100 jobs to Region

Goodwill has opened a new campus with an outlet store on Ridge Road in Gary.

Goodwill's new Gary campus is expected to bring 100 jobs to the Region and result in $9 million in economic impact to greater Northwest Indiana a year.

Goodwill Industries will dedicate its newly built 105,000-square-foot campus at 4610 W. Ridge Road at 11 a.m. Thursday. The $8 million building includes an outlet store that sells items by the pound, a donation drive-thru, The Excel Center free high school for adults over the age of 18 and a Community Career Center that helps job seekers find work.

“The Gary campus is an example of Goodwill’s continued commitment to bring services to the Region for those seeking employment," Goodwill Industries of Michiana President and CEO Debie Coble said. "As we welcome customers into our new outlet store and donors at our drive-thru donation center, we will be good stewards of their trust in us and the resources they provide, by reinvesting them back into the community."

The outlet store is Goodwill Industries of Michiana's first, and replaces the existing Gary clearance store. It will carry items that did not sell at traditional Goodwill retail stores, letting customers save more by buying by the pound.

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The Excel Center offers the more than 50,000 adults in Lake County without a high school diploma the chance to earn a Core 40 diploma and college credits or industry certification so they are "better prepared to be productive employees and enhance the companies that hire them" and can achieve greater success in life.

"The Community Career Center is a free facility for anyone who would like to learn more about how to find a job — those who are employed, under-employed or un-employed," Goodwill Industries of Michiana said in a news release. "Individuals can drop in to work on their resumes, write cover letters and hone their interview skills. It is not necessary to be enrolled in a government program to use the services provided. There will also be workshops available at no charge, taught by Goodwill experts and corporate partners."

Goodwill Industries of Michiana, which assisted 14,253 people with education, job search and training services last year, also will pursue other initiatives in the Region at its new campus, including a Nurse Family Partnership Program that pairs registered nurses with more than 180 first-time low-income mothers, and the Gary of Life program that aims to reduce violence.

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Business Reporter

Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.