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CONTACT:  LISA GARRETT, lgarrett@tctc.edu

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           7/16/2020

                                                                                    (By Lisa Garrett)

SENECA --- When Ryan Donald entered Tri-County Technical College straight out of Seneca High School in 1989, he knew it was his best educational choice but he had no idea the kind of lifelong career opportunities his two-year degree would afford him.

“I never saw myself where I am today,” said Donald, who recently accepted a job as vice president and general manager for Skanska’s new office in Greenville where he oversees the company’s southeastern division. 

 “My education at Tri-County (he earned an Industrial Maintenance degree in 2002) set me up for my first job as a maintenance operator at Cryovac (now Sealed Air Corporation),” he said.  Donald added that his Tri-County degree has been influential in doors opening to a lifelong career in management which has included serving as maintenance and reliability manager for First Quality in Anderson and maintenance coordinator for Borg Warner.  Most recently he was director of plant services for Day and Zimmerman where he was responsible for contracting maintenance and engineering service for plants in the U.S.

“When I first entered the workforce, I had no idea what Tri-County was setting me up for,” said Donald.

“My education at Tri-County set me up for my first job where I received valuable experience to complement my education,” he said.  “I owe it all to Tri-County.”

He says his job as a maintenance operator at Cryovac was the best thing that could have happened to him as a young adult.  They recruited him while he was taking classes at Tri-County.  He earned most of his Tri-County credits from 1989 to 1991 and decided to take a hiatus from college to work full time.  He finished his courses and received his degree in 2002.

“It was really important for my future,” he said.  “I made sure I took transfer classes that transferred to Anderson University where I earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2008,” he said.

“I love to tell young folks that I paid almost nothing for my education,” said Donald.  It can still be done today with scholarships and company tuition reimbursement programs.  He also encourages them to take the two-year route first.

“Cryovac paid 80% tuition reimbursement and Borg Warner paid 90% for my Anderson University degree so I basically graduated debt free.  I couldn’t have planned it any better.”  He also talks to young people about the importance of starting out in entry-level positions in manufacturing and rising up the ladder.  “I started out at the bottom in an entry-level job at Cryovac.  That’s where you want to be when you start.  There’s no better way to learn the plant and the processes,” he advised.

“Every day on the job is an interview.  Make sure that management is impressed with your job performance or you won’t be considered for the next job,” he said.

“Every time I have accepted new positions, it wasn’t because I was dissatisfied with my job.  I just had gone as far as I could go and wanted to learn something new,” he said. 

He encourages grads to create a LinkedIn profile and use it as a way to learn about companies and for them to learn about job candidates.

Each time he has been promoted or recruited for a new job, he credits his LinkedIn profile.  “People are always reaching out to me on LinkedIn for job leads and it’s a great tool to connect with people and potential employers.”

Donald and his wife, Amanda, reside in Seneca.


About Tri-County Technical College

Tri-County Technical College, a public two-year community and technical college serving Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties in South Carolina, enrolls more than 9,000 students annually and offers more than 70 major fields of study,