“When rumors about the plant closing began circulating, I found myself wondering what I would do if I was suddenly without a job. I searched for other ideas of doing something different than electrical work in a factory."
A second-year NC State student, Diaz is in his 10th year as a support specialist in adult services for Richland Newhope Industries. For the past four years, Diaz has directed the Richland Newhope dance troupe.
Alisha Walker is marketing her employer and her community at Richland Source. Graduating in December with her associate degree in marketing from North Central State College, Walker is serving an internship with the online news outlet.
Rodney Jones is employed as a six-month intern helping upsize a crash test dummy which will be used to study car restraints on overweight people during a crash. “It wasn’t long ago I was working 12 hour shifts. I don’t even have my degree (he will graduate May 2014), and I’m already better off than I was before.”