33 www.BlountPartnership.com students that covers tuition and mandatory fees, DENSO Manufacturing Tennessee employee Thomas Smith was intrigued. Smith and his wife, Melody, raised two chil- dren and emphasized the importance of a college education to them — although they did not have a college degree themselves. After their children graduated, the opportunity for Thomas or Melody to enroll in college seemed like a pipe dream. They both had jobs, children and then grandchildren, and they had already worked hard to afford college for their children. It seemed that financial and time constraints would always keep them from a college degree. Reconnect Now changed that and both are now working toward their degrees while still employed. Thomas is studying Engineering Technology with a concentration in Automated Industrial Systems. “I work at DENSO in manufacturing, and a lot of the stuff they’re doing now I am still training on. There are people on my line who do engineering work, and that’s what I’d like to do. I can learn at Pellis- sippi the technology skills needed to use these new machines,” Thomas says. “I’ve gone as far as I can without a degree, and I’d like to do something dif- ferent.” Melody, who is a receptionist at Helen Ross McNabb Center Outpatient Services, is studying Ad- ministrative Professional Technology with a Medical Office concentration. “It has been tough sometimes to be back in school after 35 years, but it feels good; it feels like an accomplishment,” Melody says. “I think the first few weeks we were both wondering what we had gotten ourselves into! Now we’re into a routine. We know we can do it.” Administrative Light Industrial General Clerical Temp-to Hire Skilled Manufacturing Direct Hire Payrolling Service Long & Short Term Temporary Human Resource Management Services On-Site Management We Keep America Working Full Service Staffing Serving Blount, Monroe, Loudon & Sevier Counties Maryville • 1701 Triangle Park Dr. 982-9480 • Fax: 984-9963 Loudon/Monroe (423) 337-0000 www.resourcemfg.com• EOE