Small businesses are ready to get back to work. After months of shutdowns due to the Covid-19 pandemic, communities across the country are taking measured steps toward reopening. For small businesses, that means getting their teams back to work in the safest ways possible. But for one small business, it’s about getting the entire community back to work.
Last month, independently owned Gallery Furniture opened a network of new resource centers for job seekers in the area of Houston, Texas. The WorkTexas resource centers at Gallery Furniture locations offer resources in three essential categories: High School/Vocational School, Job Search Assistance and Mental Health Services.
Houston-area job seekers can visit the WorkTexas resource centers to obtain resume writing tips, practice their interviewing skills and learn strategies for dealing with anxiety and stress. For educational support, Houstonians will soon be able to enroll in the WorkTexas Premier High School, as well as an adult vocational school, to acquire the professional and trade skills they need to build a successful, long-term career.
This support comes at a crucial time. The Covid-19 pandemic has caused nearly 3 million Texans to file unemployment claims since mid-March. Although many businesses across the state have begun to reopen, unemployment claims continued to rise in July. Gallery Furniture’s new resource centers will give job-seeking Houstonians a new opportunity to get back to work. In addition to employment, Gallery Furniture has also provided free grab-and-go meals to families in need during the coronavirus outbreak.
But it’s not all about the pandemic. Gallery Furniture is known in the Houston community for its commitment to service. Founder Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale has taken this role in the community seriously. After the devastating floods caused by Hurricane Harvey in 2017, Gallery Furniture sent trucks into the community to rescue stranded residents, bringing them back to the warm and dry showrooms full of top-of-the-line mattresses, beds and other furniture. Every Christmas season, Gallery Furniture gifts 30 deserving families with an entire household of furniture. The business has also furnished teacher lounges in Houston schools, plus more than a hundred USO centers around the world.
This year’s pandemic has challenged communities like never before. With new resource centers for local job seekers, Houston’s workforce is better equipped to face these challenges and get back to work.
For more information about Gallery Furniture, visit www.galleryfurniture.com.
This story is part of our ongoing ‘Local Memories, Lasting Impact’ series that highlights small, locally owned businesses and the differences they make in their communities.