When Russia invaded Ukraine, Yevhen Korotych’s entire city was bombed and his house destroyed. He narrowly escaped with his two children and his wife.
“I was a mechanical engineer in Ukraine when Russia first invaded. They took Crimea and I lost my career as a mechanical engineer. I thought, what should I do?” said Korotych. “So I taught myself how to be a mechanic and became a very successful mechanic in Ukraine – until they bombed us again this year and I lost my job.”
But they got out and made their way to the United States. Korotych, 34, now passes Eugene. When US immigration officials interviewed him and asked if he knew anyone in the States, he told them his sister and brother-in-law live in Commerce City. Korotych and his family moved to Commerce City and began looking for work.
That’s when they met Victor Robért and their lives changed
French Creole, originally from Louisiana, Victor Robért has owned Christians Brother Automotive in Broomfield for the past three years. On August he bought Christians Brothers Automotive in Commerce City.
Like Korotych, Robért had taken a different route to retail car repairs.
Robért worked as a scientist until he was 52 years old. He had spent 20 years researching and developing new treatments for a type of blood disorder in which the body produces too many red blood cells.
“So your blood is getting very thick, like syrup. It is very painful and can be fatal. I’ve spent 20 years researching and developing therapies,” said Robért.
He retired at 52 only to realize he had made a mistake. His children were still in school and his wife and friends were still working. Looking for new opportunities, he chose the Christian dealership and acquired his first franchise.
“I just fell in love with the company, their ethics, honesty and integrity and they genuinely care about every owner, every employee, every customer. We’re always a phone call away if something upsets the customer and we need to take care of it, Vice President or someone at Corporate,” said Robért.
Robért said the auto industry has a reputation for taking advantage of people.
“Christian Brothers does not take advantage of people. We believe in taking care of our customers. It was founded in 1982 and now in 2022 and there are only 258 franchises. They’re just very specific about where they use them and who they use, they sell them to,” he said.
Robért looked for help and found Korotych on an internet job board. Seeing that Korotych was from Ukraine, Robért asked if he knew English, and he said no. The pair initially communicated via Google Translate until they arranged an interview.
“He came to an interview with a translator, his brother-in-law. During the interview I had a good conversation with him and I liked him. He was excited about the company because he’s a Christian, he loved the name. He did his research and found that we are faith based and looks forward to working with us,” said Robért.
Meanwhile, Robert and his service manager began reviewing their prospective mechanic. Korotych’s Commerce City sponsor had nothing but good things to say, arguing that despite the language barrier, they would not regret hiring him. Robért decided to sleep on the decision.
“I never say the phrase that God spoke to me, but I woke up. It felt like God spoke to my heart. You have to help this family – they’ve been through so much. Eugene has endured two Russian invasions. And Ryan said we have to help this family,” Robért said.
They brought back Korotych and his translator and offered him the job.
“I just got up, shook his hand and said when can you start? Eugene said tomorrow,” Robért said. “He had to buy a tool box because he had to buy some tools and had no money and had to leave his tools in Ukraine. Eugene said I want to show you I can do the job,” Robért said.
The toolbox became another hurdle. Korotych bought some – with the help of his sponsors – and Robért and his associates donated others.
“Eugene has a small tool box. We called it a Barbie Toolbox,” said Robért. “He doesn’t know that I’m going to buy him a bigger tool kit. He wasn’t making that much so I called him, I’ll give you a raise, you make more than you make.”
Korotykh works full-time five days a week, two nights a week. He takes English classes and learns to speak English. Robért said his communication has improved within two months since they met him. He can also understand a lot more.
“I look forward to working with Christian Brothers,” said Korotych
“I admire him for coming here and doing a great job. It’s just a blessing to have him in the shop. He has a positive impact on everyone,” said Robért.