Goodwill Opens East Orlando Retail Store, CEO Dishes


    By Jacob Engels


    Well if you have not heard about it or been to it yet, Goodwill of Central Florida has opened and new retail location in Waterford Lake. Located next to BJ’s Wholesale, this particualr Goodwill is very unique. It is only the second Goodwill in America to be built using ALL American made materials. Goodwill Industries of Central Florida CEO Bill Oakley tells us how many jobs will be brought to the area and more below. Following our brief Q&A is a release from Goodwill with more information about the Waterford Lakes storefront —



    Tell us more about the Made in America partnership?


    “We are relatively new to this strategy, but we think that it’s compelling. We want to do all of our construction through this Made in America partnership – this is just our second site.”



    Through building the facility and staffing it, how many jobs were created?


    “We expect to have 40 full-time employees at this location. So far, the community is supporting us through donations and sales – so that number may go up.



    Press Release —


    ORLANDO, Fla. (June 10, 2013) – On June 14, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida will officially open its second “American-made” retail store, located at 12170 Lake Underhill Road near Waterford Lakes in Orlando. The Waterford Lakes store replaces the retail store located at 10525 E. Colonial Drive. The first “American-made” store opened in Clermont on May 9.


    This was done in partnership with Winter Park-based Williams Company, and in response to the “Made in America” challenge, by “ABC World News with Diane Sawyer,” where she urged consumers and businesses to use domestic building products. The effort has begun with Goodwill’s newest retail stores where sales of donated items fund programs that help people find jobs.


    According to Sawyer’s report, if every builder used just 5 percent more American-made products, it would create 220,000 jobs. To put it in perspective, in 1960, only 8 percent of goods were bought overseas – today, more than 60 percent comes from foreign imports.


    “Our mission is to help those with barriers to employment find meaningful work,” said Bill Oakley, CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida. “This ‘Made in America’ partnership with Williams Company gives us a chance to further that mission – and to support homegrown businesses at the same time.”


    Goodwill’s Job Connection Centers (JCC) offer a variety of job training and placement services like résumé building, networking and mentoring to people with barriers to employment. These programs are offered at no cost to the community and are funded by proceeds from sales of donated items at the nonprofit’s 28 area retail stores. Since the beginning of 2013, Goodwill has served 15,534 people at its Job Connection Centers – and of those, the nonprofit was able to help 2,773 find jobs.


    In addition to the Waterford Lakes facility, Goodwill is in the process of opening several attended donation centers in Lake Nona, Palm Bay, and a new JCC in Sanford.


    To learn more, visit


    About Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, Inc.

    Since 1959, Goodwill Industries of Central Florida has provided vocational and job placement services to 300,000 people with disabilities and other barriers to employment. With 28 retail locations in Orange, Seminole, Osceola, Brevard, Lake and Volusia counties, Goodwill directly channels more than 90 percent of its annual revenue into programs that enable individuals to secure long-term employment and become self-sufficient. For more information about Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, visit or “like” GoodwillCFL on Facebook.




    Jacob Engels, is the Founder of East Orlando Post. Along with the Post, he owns several other businesses and is currently enrolled at Valencia College. Jacob has lived in Avalon Park since it’s founding and enjoys playing with his black Labradoodle Jasper, listening to indie rock, and seeking out new business ventures. He can be reached at