13 Jul Alecia Got Help at a Goodwill Store: Now, She Runs One
The manager of Goodwill’s new store in Crossville is known by her co-workers for her can-do positivity, her strong work ethic and her willingness to lead by example.
Alecia Taylor is also known for being one of many team members who first came to Goodwill seeking help to change their lives.
“Just looking at Alecia, you’d never know what she’s overcome,” says Nicole Knoxville, a Goodwill regional manager. “But when she knows her story will help someone, she’s glad to share it. She is truly an inspiration.”
Alecia was born and raised in Crossville, attending local schools. But at age 18 she fell in with the wrong crowd and began a 12-year period in which she struggled with drug addiction and abusive relationships. She hit rock bottom in 2012, when she lost custody of newborn twin daughters.
“I was ready to end my life. I had nothing left,” she recalls. “That’s when I decided it was time for a change.”
Alecia entered and completed an addiction treatment program. She was then sent to a halfway house in Nashville, where she was required to find and maintain a job.
Because of past legal troubles, she struggled to get her foot in the door with employers. But then she attended a job fair where she learned about Goodwill’s many free employment services.
She entered a paid job training program at a local Goodwill store, where she learned to process donated shoes, housewares and accessories.
Every day for the first two weeks, Alecia walked two and a half miles from the bus stop to Goodwill and back again after her shift. But she made friends quickly at work, and her trainer began giving her rides.
Alecia also received training in digital literacy, resume writing and forklift operation.
When her training was complete, she was offered a job — her first in more than three years.
Alecia quickly developed a reputation as a hard worker, and after a year she was transferred to Goodwill’s Cookeville store so she could be closer to her children. In Cookeville, she found several mentors — including Nicole — who helped her begin to see her own potential.
“Nicole believed in me when I didn’t believe in myself. She kept on pushing me to excel and take the next step, and that is what gave me hope,” Alecia recalls. “I thought, ‘Maybe I really can do this.’”
Over the next decade she earned numerous promotions, eventually becoming an assistant manager.
Alecia remained sober, regained custody of her twins, and today her three children are at the center of her life. In October of 2019, Alecia married Scott Taylor, a former Goodwill store manager. That same year, thanks in part to her income from Goodwill, the couple bought a home in Crossville — the first Alecia has ever owned.
Then in early 2022, she learned that she would be promoted to lead Goodwill’s 29th retail store — its first ever in Crossville. The store is tentatively expected to open in September.
“It feels surreal,” she said. “Not only am I going to be a store manager, but it will be in my own hometown. It is a dream come true.”
The facility will include an in-store Career Solutions Center, where the public can access free training and employment services.