After nearly 30 years in an industry from which he had hoped to retire, Johnny Willis finally sees light at the end of the tunnel. He used his Trade Readjustment Act benefits to return to college after his textile industry job was lost, enrolling at Danville Community College in fall 2009 in one of the college’s newest programs – marketing with a specialization in warehousing and distribution.
“I chose DCC for two reasons. One, it is convenient to my home. The second and deciding reason came after I met with my professor -- his approach and eagerness to help made me feel comfortable. I felt that I would have the support needed to accomplish my educational goals.
“We discussed my background and work history,” Willis continues. “I had management experience and it seemed reasonable to pursue a marketing degree that would complement my work experience. With most of the manufacturing jobs leaving the U.S., I wanted a degree that would give me opportunities to pursue a new career.”
Willis quickly gained the skills needed and excelled in his coursework. In May 2011, with an associate degree in hand, he landed a job at Twinings - North America in Greensboro, NC, where he is a warehouse associate involved in the worldwide distribution of many flavors and varieties of tea.
"My main goal is to work in a job that gives me a feeling of accomplishment,” Willis says.