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The economic impact from the COVID-19 pandemic has been widespread across Central Florida. While 2020 ended with a glimmer of hope and hiring appears to be on the upswing, the sectors facing the biggest job losses continue to be leisure and hospitality, administrative, and retail roles, according to a recent assessment by Florida TaxWatch.

Now, nearly two dozen people have new retail jobs courtesy of Goodwill Industries of Central Florida, helping to reverse some of the losses in that sector of the economy.

The 23 new workers were interviewed on-the-spot at a Goodwill hiring event in the organization’s Orange City location on Harley Strickland Boulevard earlier this month, said Talent Acquisition Specialist Erin Crawford, who is based at Goodwill’s Orlando headquarters.

“It went really, really well,” Crawford told  the following day. “We had 40 people show up, interviewed 35 of them, and chose 23.”

The five not interviewed asked to reschedule their interviews, she added.

The 23 new hires will be working as clerks, associates and related positions, mostly at the Goodwill stores in Orange City and DeLand, Crawford said, although one will work at the Holly Hill store. The only other Goodwill outlet in Volusia County is in Port Orange, but she said it’s fully staffed.

“All the hires expanded our head count in Volusia County,” Crawford said. “These are new jobs for Volusia County.”

In promoting the four-hour event March 10, Goodwill Industries noted that no experience was needed to apply and that on-the-job training will be provided. Face masks and social distancing were maintained. Those interested were asked to upload a current résumé and complete an application beforehand online at www.GoodwillCFL.org.

Crawford said similar hiring events are held periodically.

“They are open to the community, and not just for in-house employees,” she said.

Depending on the needs at the time, future events could fill openings for cashiers, processors, store clerks, donation attendants, warehouse workers and customer-service supervisors, according to the Goodwill notice.

ON-THE-SPOT INTERVIEWS Talent Acquisition Specialist Erin Crawford interviews potential new employees during a hiring event March 10 inside Goodwill Industries of Central Florida’s Orange City store.


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