United Way Donates $200,000 to Goodwill Metro for Youth Reengagement Centers

Apr 28, 2023 | Cradle to Career Team, News, Opportunity Youth

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona announced today that it will donate $200,000 to Goodwill Metro of Southern Arizona over the next two years for the expansion of their Youth Reengagement Centers (RECs) with two new sites in Tucson.  Currently, Goodwill offers reengagement services at two RECs; one is in downtown Tucson on Fourth Avenue, and the second is located in South Tucson at the intersection of Silverlake and Kino Parkway. Between 2018 and 2022, 1,699 youth were served; the two new centers will serve an additional 2,000 youth over the next two years.

Goodwill’s new REC locations will be strategically placed in northern and eastern parts of Tucson to fill service gaps, address community inequities, and improve the accessibility of programs. The eastern location is a 1,620 square foot building next to Goodwill’s Kolb store located on 7201 E. 22nd Street; the northern location is a 2,700 square foot space connected to Goodwill’s Ina store, located on 2990 W. Ina Road.

Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona, Inc. and United Way of Southern Arizona first established a partnership in 2018, with the shared vision to address Tucson’s growing population of opportunity youth (youth ages 16-24 who are disconnected from work and from school) by providing education, training, employment, and wrap around supports to reconnect them with the workforce and help them develop a pathway to success. Since this partnership’s inception, Goodwill and United Way have served over 1,600 youth and young adults throughout Pima County. This partnership has opened the doors for Goodwill to establish a thriving reengagement program in Tucson, leverage private grant dollars and internal revenue to expand our wrap around programs and supports, and meet the evolving needs of our program participants.

“We are so very pleased to strategically and financially support our partners at Goodwill of Southern Arizona,” stated Tony Penn, president and CEO of United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona.  “This is what it’s all about – sharing the resources of the community and workforce development; in this case, young people who need a hand up to prepare for the jobs of today and tomorrow.  This investment will allow our partners to expand their footprint in our community, reaching even more disadvantaged youth, to increase our talent pool, generate more economic development as businesses can find the workers required to come, grow and expand in our region,” Penn concluded.

Lance Meeks, Director of Community Engagement with Goodwill Southern Arizona, noted “Because we understand that Opportunity Youth exist throughout Pima County, we are committed to ensuring that youth have access to services and supports no matter where they live. We envision our third center as another safe space in our community.”

United Way of Tucson and Southern Arizona will be presenting a check to Goodwill during their grand opening of the Kolb Reengagement Center in early April.