Goodwill opens

The Goodwill store in Wapakoneta officially opened its doors this week.

The Goodwill Easter Seals of Miami County had been working on the store opening since mid-2012.

District Manager Gene Motycka said the company was more than happy to locate in Wapakoneta, and that feedback has been extremely positive the first week.

“As you can see, it is a large store,” Motycka said. “We have a showroom that is about 6,700-square foot and a back room where we do processing that is about 4,200-square foot.

“So far we have heard a lot of good things from the customers,” Motycka said. “We have heard customers comment that they like the rows being set far enough apart for handicapped accessibility. We have heard a lot of suggestions from people of other things we could do with the store.”

The Goodwill Easter Seals of Miami County covers a 23-county region which reaches as far north as Lima and as far south as Lebanon. The Lima Goodwill store merged with Easter Seals in 2007.

The Miami Valley chain of  stores is one of only five in the nation that is affiliated with Easter Seals.

Motycka said the opening was a “soft opening,” with a grand opening scheduled to be held March 22. The store at 1240 Bellefontaine St. opened on Tuesday.

“This is kind of something to work the bugs out and let our associates get accustomed,” Motycka said. “We have already found a few minor repairs and a couple of leaks in the roof. This gives us a chance to locate those kind of things.”

The store is the 27th store in the Miami Valley group. The opening of the Wapakoneta store brought 12 jobs initially to the area. The store manager is Mike Engle. The space had set vacant for about eight years.

Motycka said the store is hoping it can reach partnership agreement with Auglaize Industries to provide jobs for disabled and developmental disabilities workers.

“We would like to help them get into the work place by working in the back room and helping hang clothes,” Motycka said. “If we are not able to work something out, we will work with Lima or Mercer County to help provide jobs to them.”