WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Donald Croteau could very well be the most talked about newcomer to Wilmington.
Ever since it was announced that Vertex Rail Technologies would be opening up shop in the Port City, there have been a lot of questions about Croteau. He's the CEO of the company that's promising to hire 1,300 local people with an average salary of $40,000.
What is not widely known is that Croteau came from very humble beginnings.
"We grew up in the projects, on welfare, and my mother was always quite ill," Croteau said. "I was a foster kid before there were really foster kids."
Croteau grew up in a poor section of Boston, Massachusetts. His father left when he was five. Looking back, he says he knows it had to be hard for his mother and her three children, but says it was just the way it was.
"Many times we'd come home from school and somebody would be sitting there saying, 'I'm taking you home,' and you didn't even know who they were," Croteau explained.
Life took a drastic change for Croteau at just 18-years-old.
Frances Weller will tell Croteau's rags to riches story Monday on WECT News at 11. Learn how he hopes to change lives for many of the future employees at Vertex Rail Technologies.