From unemployed to onward and upward: RCBC alum takes control of his future
Thursday, Jan 13, 2022

Michael Thornburg

When Rowan College at Burlington County alum Michael Thornburg found himself unemployed with four kids to support, he knew he had to pivot in a big way. That’s when he turned his attention to RCBC’s Cisco CCNA program. There, he gained a broader knowledge of technology, including internet protocols, network security and router configuration. 

Within just a few months, Thornburg gained the confidence and skill set to enter a new career. With the help of RCBC’s Workforce Development Institute, he secured a position in Supply Chain with a local company and skyrocketed from there. He leveraged this experience with his IT knowledge and went on to work in a managerial role for Weber Display, a packaging and display manufacturer, before landing a Business Development role at OPEX, an automation company. Thornburg credits his networking experiences at RCBC as helping him along his journey. 

“Most importantly, it was the relationships that meant the most,” Thornburg shared. “Being able to meet students, professors, faculty and staff, potential employers and have conversations to sort through the details of my interests and skills in order to navigate potential career paths was invaluable. It is not always an easy road to walk down, but having a kind team of supporters continually encouraging me to keep walking was very influential in my landing at OPEX.”

Thornburg uses the knowledge he gained as a student at RCBC in a variety of scenarios in his current role helping to grow and develop the Field Service Team for Warehouse Automation at OPEX. 

“Mike is a solid alum and has always looked to RCBC for career guidance and educational pathways to strengthen his position,” RCBC’s Workforce Development Institute Account Manager Stacy Hunt said. “His journey has been interesting, and I think he will really make an impression and become increasingly more involved with faculty and students. He sings our praises wherever he can.”

Outside of work, Thornburg enjoys family trips with his wife and children, often to LBI. He’s a soccer enthusiast, as he plays, coaches and watches the sport. He’s also quite creative – playing, writing and listening to music.

To learn more about RCBC’s Cisco CCNA program, visit