In what may be one of its shrewdest business decisions since its founding in 1959, Goodwill Industries of South Florida is set to inaugurate one of the largest commercial laundries in the Southeastern United States to serve the booming healthcare industry in South Florida and -- in the process-- create jobs for people with disabilities and special needs in the community.
The official plant opening and ribbon-cutting ceremonies are scheduled for August 29 at the 3.6-acre site of the laundry’s state-of-the-art facility. The 50,000 square-foot plant at 6201 NW 36th Ave. will serve hospitals and other health industry facilities of all sizes with a capacity to process up to 40 million pounds of laundry annually.
Goodwill President and CEO Dennis Pastrana called Goodwill’s entry into the healthcare laundry business “a bold decision” that took eight years to materialize, and is expected to reinforce the diversified entrepreneurial activities that generate the revenues that support the human-services mission of the Miami-based nonprofit.
The laundry is expected to begin processing some 3.6 million pounds of linen in its opening month, with production expected to grow to 12 million pounds by early 2014 and, eventually, to 40 million by working double shifts.
Besides servicing the larger hospitals, the facility will feature a parallel system of washing and drying equipment to process smaller contracts such as those from rehabilitation centers, neighborhood clinics, nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and hospitals with fewer beds. This dual washing line will help maintain the same cost-effectiveness and efficient service enjoyed by high volume customers.
“The Goodwill laundry will be the most modern plant of its type in the nation,” according to Pastrana. “It has been built following a blueprint with the latest technologies and innovations, and its advanced automation will help streamline production and provide a major competitive advantage in quality, efficiency and price.”
The price advantage, said Pastrana, will allow Goodwill to “leverage” additional business from laundry customers in areas such as hospital laundry distribution, janitorial and custodial work, landscaping, document shredding, facilities’ cleaning, and other services already provided by Goodwill that will help create additional jobs for poor and unemployed workers with disabilities and special needs.
“The laundry project will definitely establish us as a leading force in the implementation of environmentally friendly solutions,” observed Pastrana. “It will make us doubly proud of our unique Management Systems that deliver consistent quality, reliability and service at fair market prices.”
The plant will be energy efficient and feature many safeguards – such as backup generators – to ensure a smooth operation under adverse conditions, even during and after hurricanes.
Pastrana is particularly proud of the laundry’s proximity to Liberty City, where he said the facility will have the added effect of creating 200-plus jobs once it reaches its full 40 million pound of laundry operating capacity to help a community whose unemployment rate is triple that of the entire Miami-Dade County.
As a business enterprise with a social mission, Goodwill uses the revenues generated by its four entrepreneurial divisions to significantly support its combination of rehabilitation-driven work programs and creation of employment opportunities. Its four entrepreneurial divisions are: Donated goods, apparel/flag manufacturing, commercial services, and service contracts. The new industrial laundry will be part of the service contracts division.
About Goodwill’s Goal: More Jobs for People with Disabilities.
Goodwill Industries of South Florida is a nonprofit organization dedicated to training, employing and placing people with disabilities and special needs in community jobs so they can successfully transition to independence. Its goal is to provide every person with a disability and every unfortunate person in the South Florida community with an opportunity to develop to their fullest usefulness.