When Jaguar and his wife got divorced, he lost a lot more than just his significant other. He was out more than $100,000 and was forced to sleep in his car for two years.
The most important loss, however, may have been Jaguar’s business contacts. He was a successful mechanic at the time, but without his connections to the field, he found himself without a career.
That led Jaguar to Goodwill. He originally thought Goodwill was just a thrift store, but after visiting the Elizabethtown Opportunity Center, he learned it was much more than that. To freshen up his job skills, he took part in the Soft Skills training, which included resume writing and mock interviewing.
Jaguar said the biggest area of development for him has been his digital literacy. Goodwill helped him improve his computer skills and even put him through a mock virtual interview.
“It helped me in quite a few areas,” he said. “It even taught me how to use Zoom. There are so many positive things I got out of that program.”
Jaguar is in school at Elizabethtown Community and Technical College studying how to fix electric cars. Once a mechanic 30 years ago, he said the field has changed drastically, which is why he utilized Goodwill’s Opportunity Center.
“So many things have changed in that amount of time,” he said. “That was my jumpstart. So many people come through that program, take the first and leave it. But I’m using it to my full advantage.”
Jaguar also got certified to use a forklift during his time at the Center. He still stops in whenever his is in need of assistance.
“They prepared me for what was coming,” he said. “They also let me know that they were there for me. There was a time I needed gas money – I went by and was able to get some gas money.”
Now that he’s recovered from his difficult divorce, he spends free time mentoring inner-city youth who are interested in becoming mechanics. He said the help he received from Goodwill made him want to give back.
“Once I got back on my feet again,” he said, “then I started bringing people in under me and taught them mechanic skills.”