Celebrating Older Americans Month: John’s Success Story

John worked full time at a processing plant before an existing mobility issue became debilitating, and he began to use a wheelchair to remain productive. That did not deter John, and he remained a vibrant worker, but his current employer was no longer a good fit. Several years of sporadic employment left John wanting to repurpose his skills. The Office of Vocational Rehabilitation referred him to Goodwill’s Senior Community Service & Employment Program (SCSEP) in March 2021, where he met SCSEP Career Coach Doug wells.

Through a skills assessment, they discovered that retail, light production and customer service were John’s new training goals and employment focus. Doug partnered with Goodwill store located in Mayfield to get John started on his new journey to upgrade his skills and gain employment experience through paid training.

John’s hometown of Mayfield suffered a major tornado in December 2021. Devastation was widespread throughout the small community – there were power outages, lack of public water, destroyed buildings/homes and lives lost.

John did not lose his place of residence but was displaced because loss of water and electricity. John’s host agency through SCSEP, the Mayfield Goodwill, was also affected by the tornado, and he was unable to train and earn wages. Goodwill was able to help John weather the storm by assisting with temporary housing.

Once Goodwill was allowed to re-open, John returned to training to assist with the cleanup and had a huge impact in the re-opening. He was ready and willing to complete all training duties as a production clerk, as well as expand his knowledge base to assist in other areas.

John always was willing to do anything that was needed to be done. He had a sense of pride training at Goodwill and wanted the store to be neat. John constantly offered words of encouragement to his co-workers and store patrons. He is a team player and wants to see the store succeed.

John was training through SCSEP at the Mayfield Goodwill when a position was posted for a production clerk in the neighboring town at the Paducah Goodwill.

Kenna Elkins, who is the store manager for Paducah, also serves as a senior store manager, serving and mentoring the Mayfield and Murray stores.

She was familiar with John from her monthly visits at the Mayfield store and recognized how well his training was progressing and was glad to have John join her team.

John was hired at the Paducah Goodwill just last month and is a great asset to our Goodwill family!