Indianapolis Business Journal, Daily Journal staff reports

Two Goodwill organizations are planning to merge, creating one group that will cover 39 counties from north-central Indiana to the Ohio River.

Indianapolis-based Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana plans to merge with Clarksville-based Goodwill of Southern Indiana, and if approved by the board of directors, will go into effect Jan. 1.

Officials said the merger was proposed after Kent Kramer, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, and Goodwill of Southern Indiana CEO Candy Barksdale began talking about ways to better collaborate on programs and services.

“Kent and I quickly realized we would be stronger if we joined forces than if we continued as separate organizations and territories,” Barksdale said in a written statement.

Goodwill has more than 160 independent organizations in North America.

“Opportunities for Goodwill territories to combine are rare, so this is a significant day in the history of both our organizations,” Kramer said.

Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana, founded in 1930, has 3,200-plus employees, about 60 stores, 10 commercial-services sites and 10 charter high schools. It was the area’s 15th largest not-for-profit organization in 2014 based on revenue of $127.1 million, according to the most recently available fiscal information.

Goodwill of Southern Indiana operates 11 stores in nine counties, a Children’s Learning Center and a Job Connection Center. The group listed revenue of $13.6 million and expenses of $9.9 million in the 2014-15 fiscal year.