Continuing Education and a
When Domtar Corporation, the
largest integrated manufacturer of uncoated freesheet paper in North America,
announced layoffs at its Port Edwards location in 2008, Jill
, '11, was out of work and faced with the decision of finding
another job or returning to school to earn her bachelor's degree.
Goffin, who was a freshman at UW-Stevens Point in 1994 before transferring to
UW-Marathon County where she earned her associate degree, started working at
Domtar in 1996. She held many positions with the company, including supervisor,
shift manager and technical assistant.
Goffin enrolled in the UWSP
Business Degree Completion program at UWMC
and took advantage of the Trade
Adjustment Assistance (TAA) Program, a federal program that provides a path for
employment growth and opportunity through aid to U.S. workers who have lost
their jobs as a result of foreign trade.
But going back to college proved to be a big adjustment. "School and the
manner in which technology is used has change immensely since the mid '90s,"
Goffin said. "But it also created more convenient ways of learning and applying
knowledge in and out of the classroom."
Those conveniences are what helped her along the way. "Being able to take
upper-level business classes at UWMC and UWSP allowed me to complete all
necessary credits in my 104-week time frame with TAA," said Goffin. "The
convenience of getting bachelor's degree courses at a local two-year university
is great both in timesaving and fuel expenses."
Goffin's educational journey came full circle in May 2011 as she graduated
from UWSP with a B.S. in Business Administration, earning the School of Business
Distinguished Achievement Award.
Her hard work paid off even further when, before she even graduated, Wausau
Paper offered her a management position as a converting product development
superintendent. Jerry Zembrycki, converting and distribution
manager at the company said he was impressed with her determination. "Going back
for her degree after several years of working speaks well of Jill's commitment
to succeed," he said.
"This is a perfect example that even after school, the challenges of
mastering new things are never over," Goffin said. "This is just the beginning,
and I am excited about what the future holds."