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Success Story: Curtis

June 13, 2014

Goodwill Cornerstone_Good Work! Award_Curtis BakerCurtis was unemployed for a year and a half after he was laid off from his 18-year job as a heating and air conditioning technician. While being unemployed brought about a lot of hardships for Curtis, there was one silver lining—getting to be a stay-at-home dad. “My kids kept me alive and productive,” says Curtis, who is married with a son and twin daughters.

He credits Goodwill with giving him a support system and the drive to keep going and be successful in his job search. “After I was laid off, I felt like a failure,” says Curtis. “Goodwill helped me to gain my confidence back. Now, I am prepared going into any scenario.”

After deciding on a career in the hotel industry, Curtis applied for jobs at nine local hotels. The last hotel where he interviewed referred him to Goodwill’s Hospitality & Tourism Training program. The seven-week program taught him essential skills for the hotel industry and gave him the credentials and certifications to succeed in any hotel position.

Before he graduated, Curtis found a job at the Hampton Inn in Pineville using the job search and interviewing skills he learned at Goodwill. He started at the front desk, where he learned the value of making himself approachable. His commitment to showing up early, providing excellent customer service and working hard paid off, and he was promoted to Chief Engineer.

“I have been very impressed with all the candidates that Goodwill has sent to me,” says Mae Nelson, Curtis’ employer and the Hampton Inn Pineville manager. “It seems that they bring a special type of positive energy and a real willingness to work, and I think they get that in their training.”

Curtis, a Union County native, says that the thing that most impressed him about the program was the overall willingness to help people. “Goodwill brought me in, treated me like family and made me feel at home. I loved coming here every day and still keep in touch with my fellow classmates, teachers and mentors. We all support each other.”

Elizabeth Isenhour

Elizabeth Isenhour

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