Greater East Bay-based Goodwill Industries was forced to shut down eight of its retail stores across the region due to the continuing financial devastation the coronavirus pandemic has caused.

The closures are occurring in Albany, Berkeley, Dublin, Durant Square in Oakland, Dixon, Livermore, Oakley, and Vallejo. The shutdown of the retail stores also means 61 employees were also laid off.

Goodwill Closure

“We have had to make a difficult decision for economic reasons. Our employees are our first priority, and we will continue to do everything we can to support them at this difficult time and fulfill the Goodwill mission in our remaining stores and facilities,” Goodwill Industries President and CEO Mike Keenan.

The non-profit organization will provide laid-off workers with a separation package, including one week worth of salary, health benefits for one month, and individual career services. The services include resume development and assistance, mock interviews, job search and potential placements, and assistance applying for EDD benefits.

Goodwill said provided careers for the vulnerable members of the community using revenue it generates from sales of donated goods at its stores. The organization supports those in need with no-cost training, employment placement services, and support services.

The list includes people with disabilities, those impacted by the criminal justice system, those who are unemployed or underemployed, veterans and military families, elderly employees, and young adults, Goodwill said in a statement, CBS Local reported.

“But because our stores have been shut down for most the last year due to the pandemic, it has created a tremendous fiscal challenge, and we must make a challenging business decision in order to sustain mission services,” said Goodwill.