At Goodwill’s grand opening in Fos- toria, eager shoppers lined up to get a peek of the new store and to be the first to scan the aisles. “The store opening was pretty tremen- dous,” said David Takats, director of fund development and marketing for Goodwill Industries of Northwest Ohio. “We had to open the doors a bit early because we didn’t want them standing outside too long.” The new store, one of 13 in Northwest Ohio, opened Oct. 18. Takats said the 18,000 square foot store incorporates Goodwill’s new design, one crafted to make the shopping experience more upbeat and positive, with wider aisles, carpeting, easier shopping and dressing rooms. The store employs 15, mostly full-time work- ers now. Takats said more employees may be added, depending on sales. Inside, shoppers will find “all kinds of clothing – children’s, men’s, women’s, coats, winter clothes, shoes, purses, anything to round out an outfit,” Takats said. “We also have very cool artwork, toys, furniture, pots and pans, plates… It’s a great resource.” Goodwill offers a diverse shopping experience and provides significant community services as well. The majority of Goodwill’s merchandise comes from donations, which prevent millions of pounds of material from heading to landfills, Takats said. “We take products and create something new from what you were going to throw away,” Takats explained. “It’s a big aspect for us. We don’t want anyone throwing hardly anything into a landfill. It’s exciting; to know your things are not going into a landfill, but rather to a much better cause.” Revenue generated by the store also stays in Northwest Ohio, funding assistance programs that help train and place individuals into jobs, either with Goodwill or in the community. “We offer programs and services to help overcome barriers to employment,” Takats said. “Whether it is a person with physical or mental disabilities, wounded veterans, people who have been out of the workforce a long time or are welfare dependent – we help anyone who is having a real difficulty securing meaningful employment.” It’s a win-win situation, Takats said, “You can find a new pair of jeans, pay five dollars, and the money you spend helps your neighbors to get job opportunities.” This location will provide more “high-end” merchandise than other locations, said Takats. Other retail Goodwill stores are located in Findlay, Tiffin, Toledo and Bowling Green.