The move affects 374 employees, who are off until further notice.
Although Goodwill's doors will remain open in Sarasota and Manatee counties, the nonprofit placed more than half of its workforce on temporary furlough in reaction to the COVID-19's effect on the local economy.
On Friday, Goodwill Manasota notified 374 employees (52%) they would be off until further notice.
A release by Goodwill said the nonprofit has seen a 46% decline in sales from its retail stores in Sarasota and Manatee counties. Goodwill executives chose the furloughs in order to keep the doors open "for those who have a critical need for Goodwill's programs and services."
“This was an incredibly difficult decision but it was necessary to stabilize our social service organization for the future,” said Goodwill Manasota President & CEO Bob Rosinsky in a release. “It is our hope and expectation that taking these actions swiftly and decisively will position us to fully reopen, resume services, and rehire those impacted when the global health crisis subsides."
“These were exceedingly painful decisions for us to make. This is the most heartbreaking decision I have had to make in my 48-year career. While we grieve for the disruption to the affected team members and their families, the actions we are taking now are to ensure we survive these challenging times and are able to continue our life-changing work during and especially after the crisis, when the community will need us more than ever.”
The release said Goodwill has reduced the hours of operation of its retail stores while significantly increasing cleaning and sanitizing procedures of all facilities.
The organization is still accepting donations of gently-used items and non-perishable food from community members at its attended donation centers but is asking donors to remain in their cars, to minimize face-to-face contact.