February 25, 2022

Meet Terence

Just one year ago, Terence was working three hospitality jobs, sleeping three hours a night, and struggling to pay rent.
Growing up in Alabama’s Talladega County, he was a troop leader for the Boy Scouts, president of the school science club, and a member of his high school’s advanced math and science team traveling around the state. He graduated with honors and received one of six All American scholarships in the country.
Terence is a military Veteran, having served four years in the U.S. Army Reserve. He holds dual degrees and is halfway through a master’s program in project management, with his sights set on completing a doctorate one day.
He has also experienced homelessness, faced the criminal justice system, and for many years raised his daughter as a custodial single parent.
“I have worn every pair of shoes a man can possibly wear.”
By all accounts, Terence is brilliant. He completed his first degree, a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Business Administration from Talladega College, in only three years and shortly thereafter completed his second, an Associate Degree in Drafting and Design Engineering Technology from Central Ohio Technology College.

But life doesn’t always go as planned, and Terence’s life took a dramatic turn as he was completing university. A few poor decisions as a young man left him with lesser and lesser opportunities to find and retain meaningful employment.
“When that happened, life was cut short for me. I had been at several Fortune 500 companies, but when they got my background report, it was over.”
Terence came to New Flyer through the Anniston Workforce Development Program (AWDP), created in partnership with the Transportation Diversity Council (TDC). Holding down three jobs left little time for a healthy lifestyle – never mind seeing and supporting his family – and he was struggling to keep up, facing eviction from his apartment, putting his master’s studies on hold due to constrained resources, and leaving each day mentally and physically exhausted. Recognizing this, a friend submitted his name to the Alabama Career Center system (an AWDP community partner) who in turn introduced him to TDC. Shortly thereafter, Terence joined New Flyer.

He came onboard as an Assembler II in October 2021 and completed five weeks of intensive technical training – which included blueprint reading, use of power tools, electrical systems, and machine operation – and three days of workplace readiness training including ethics, communication and teambuilding, financial health, and managing wellness. Through the AWDP, he was provided housing supports to stabilize accommodations and allow him the freedom to focus on work.
Today, Terence is one of the first to arrive, say good morning, and learn new skills by enthusiastically helping others the moment an opportunity arises. He leverages prior experience manufacturing homes and trucks to bring his best to building world-class buses for cities across North America, and now aims to grow into a manufacturing engineering role on New Flyer’s Anniston team.
“At 52, I have been given a second chance. Sometimes I don’t feel like it’s real. These people invested in me. They take time to show you how to do things and help you in the right direction. I pinch myself like I’m dreaming – I have never worked for a better group of people.”
When asked what he looks forward to the most in future, Terence explains “A new beginning – to become the man God and my dad intended me to be. I’m very driven, I want to grow, I want to learn everything and run like the river. At the end of the day, I want them to say that’s a good guy.”
Terence’s daughter is now 19 and completing pre-med studies to become a Doctor, fulfilling her dream as he continues to write his. One day, Terence dreams of the two of them holding doctorate degrees side by side.
"While there's no second chance to make a first impression, the AWDP enables those with second chances to make a first impression... at something new. Terence, guided by his commitment to growth and embrace of opportunity, is working towards a bright future," said Ayeshah Lockwood, TDC's Director of Workforce Development, Southeast Region. "Together with New Flyer, we are helping strengthen the greater Anniston community through new workforce development opportunities, comprehensive social supports, and inclusive employment pipeline development."
“The introduction of the Anniston Workforce Development Program has been win-win-win for all involved,” said Tom Munn, Plant Manager of New Flyer Anniston. “Terence gains a new opportunity to succeed and thrive in his career, our team wins by adding another capable and energetic colleague, and the community wins by working together to connect its people with meaningful employment that strengthens the foundation of the place we call home.”
The AWDP is a local program under New Flyer’s Community Benefits Framework. Through the program, New Flyer is strengthening its community outreach and recruitment capacity, and committing to the placement of groups of people not traditionally employed in the manufacturing industry, including those considered underrepresented, underserved, and/or disadvantaged individuals.
To hear more from the New Flyer Anniston team, click here. For a virtual tour of the facility, click here. To view current job openings, visit
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