Lynchburg entrepreneur, Thomas Johnson wants start a school to help local community members learn woodworking skills.
“You have to understand that woodworking is big,” said Johnson. “When you were born, you were welcomed by what? A woodworker, through what? A cradle. When we die a woodworker sees us off.
Johnson has lived all over the world. Born in Ghana, his travels took him to America with only $20 in his pocket. After later establishing himself, he would question the world around him.
“When I go to the community and I see lots of people who are hopeless. In America you don’t have to be hopeless. You don’t, because opportunities are plentiful,” Johnson said.
He’s working to raise funds for the Thomas A. Johnson School of American Woodworking. It’s a skill he learned growing up Ghana, and one he wants to share with others here in the commonwealth.
“I don’t have to go to China to establish a business and ship it back here and sell it to Americans. I rather created it here; train Americans to do the job,” said Johnson.
Johnson doesn’t want to necessarily train students to work for him, but to be self sufficient in hopes that one can either work for their self or for another company.
“I just want to give people hope, give them training, give them skill set and give them hope,” said Johnson. You teach somebody how to fish and the person will fish for life time.
And though Johnson has come a long way, he says there’s still more work to be done.
“Like Martin Luther King, Jr. said, I have a dream, that’s my dream,” said Johnson.
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