Assistant Secretary of Workforce Solutions
Will Collins brings more than 40 years’ experience in human resources, manufacturing, and workforce development to his leadership role at the Department of Commerce. He has an extensive background in international business.
Will began his career with Burlington Industries, working at locations in North Carolina and Georgia. In May 1999, Will became the first American employed by AW North Carolina, Inc., whose parent company is based in Anjo City, Japan. AWNC manufactures automatic transmissions for Toyota in North America. The company, located in Durham, currently employs over 2,000 people. Will retired as the company’s vice president in 2013.
AWNC earned several honors under Will’s leadership. including the North Carolina Governor’s Award for Workforce Development in 2003. In addition to his professional responsibilities, Will has served on Boards of Directors for the N.C. Japan Center and the N.C. Community College System.
Will has served in his current role since December, 2013. He is also Executive Director of NCWorks, a collaborative program bringing N.C. Commerce and workforce development partners together to strengthen the state’s commitment to North Carolina’s employers and job seekers.
A native of Madison, N.C., Will graduated from Appalachian State University with a bachelor’s degree in personnel management. He and his wife Debi have been married for 27 years with two sons (25 and 19) and a daughter (21). Will and his family live in Raleigh where he enjoys playing tennis and golf, and reading biographies, classics, and the daily comics page.