Feb 2, 2011 7:52 PM by David Ortiviz

Colorado Springs Goodwill takes over Pueblo territory

Goodwill of Colorado Springs will help restore the organization's image in Pueblo after a volatile past couple of years. The old Goodwill in Pueblo was shut down last year and two C.E.Os were fired after being accused of financial wrongdoing.

Goodwill Industries of Colorado Springs will now take over the Pueblo territory and open a new retail center. "We're excited about the opportunity," said Melissa Lyby, Communications Director for the Colorado Springs Goodwill.

The new thrift store will employ about 42 workers. Goodwill often hires those who are disabled or face other employment barriers. "And then once we have an opportunity to listen to the community and kind of see what type of services they need we will offer mission services, so that could mean more jobs," said Lyby.

This comes, as the International non-profit is trying to recover from tarnished reputation in Pueblo. In recent years, Debbie Diaz and David Skul two former C.E.Os were fired. Both were accused of misusing company funds.

Pueblo's affiliation with Goodwill was yanked and last fall the board scrambled to open a new thrift store in the old Toys 'R' Us building near the Pueblo Mall. However 3 months later News First 5 went to the store to talk to somebody and no one answered the door. We found out that for financial reasons, the group stayed in the old location in Belmont and removed Goodwill's name. The location near the mall will not open.

For Goodwill, they plan to open somewhere else this fall and with 50-years of experience, the Colorado Springs chapter is confident they can rebuild the public's trust. "Nationally we rank in the top ten of all Goodwills in terms of putting people to work, so we're a very financially stable organization and we will continue that no matter what community we operate in," said Lyby.

The former Pueblo Goodwill board calls its store Colorado Green Services. Doug Gradisar, the group's attorney says the store's dealing with low revenues and there could be changes ahead.



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