Northland Goodwill stores laying off 293 workers due to coronavirus impact

The layoffs will occur across all 12 stores.

Twelve Northland Goodwill locations will lay off 293 of their 312 workers, largely retail and donation processing staff, on Thursday.

The jobs lost at the Northeastern Minnesota and Northwestern Wisconsin locations are a result of the coronavirus pandemic, which caused Goodwill to close its stores March 19. The nonprofit's mission is to employ people with disabilities or other barriers to employment.

A small number of employees will stay on staff to help with critical business functions, the release reads.

Staff were paid for scheduled hours between March 19 and April 15.

"We view this decision as difficult, yet a critically necessary step to help our organization survive this crisis and to preserve and protect our Goodwill to continue to serve our community in the future," President and CEO Marcy Vogt wrote in the release. "We are directing people to their state unemployment offices at this time to help support workers and their families.


"It is our hope and goal to recall laid-off Goodwill team members as our organization rebounds.”

Goodwill is also seeking local and federal support, like Small Business Administration loans and grants. The nonprofit is awaiting the results, the release reads.

It's also asking people to stop donating goods, as the virus lives on surfaces, causing a public health concern for anyone who handles donated goods without proper protection.

“Goodwill will need your support more than ever when we reopen, but now is not the time to donate goods that will just be left outside our donation doors," Vogt wrote.

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