Goodwill Industries of the Columbia Willamette is laying off 2,632 employees in the wake of its resale shops and donation centers closing last week.
The layoffs are more evidence of the economic obliteration caused by state and federal efforts to slow the spread of the coronavirus pandemic. Goodwill's mission is to provide job services to the community, and now it's not able to do that even for its own people.
"We can't operate," Goodwill general counsel and human-resources director Bob Barsocchini told The Oregonian/OregonLive. He said staffers in the organization's signature Job Connection program were among those who have been laid off.
Applications for unemployment have skyrocketed in Oregon, with the state seeing more than 76,000 new claims in the third week of March, up from just 4,900 the prior week. Gov. Kate Brown banned sit-down service at bars and restaurants on March 16, and last week she issued a statewide stay-at-home order, which closed many other businesses.
Well-known local companies such as McMenamins and Powell's Books have laid off most of their employees.
This Oregonian/OregonLive story is shared as part of a local media project to increase COVID-19 news coverage.
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