Woman's life transformed by America, opportunities at Darien company

DARIEN (WITI) -- A 50th birthday is always a cause for celebration. But for Dorina Baica, it also symbolizes something much sweeter.

"Always a problem to get food and everything else was kind of hard. We had the money, but the stores were empty most of the time. You couldn't buy fruits," said Baica.

Baica and her siblings grew up in Romania.

"I remember time when my father used to be beat up and thrown in jail over and over because he would protest against the communists," said Liliana Kayfarcau, Baica's sister.

On Wednesday, March 11th, Baica celebrated 25 years with Tri-Tec Corporation in Darien. She credits the Wisconsin company with the drastic change in her family's fortune.

"In 1989, Romania had a revolution to put down the Communists. And after that ,we were allowed to leave the country and visit different countries," said Baica.

Baica and her then-husband packed up their two small children and headed to America.

"We came here and it was like heaven on Earth. We never seen such an abundance of everything," said Baica.

They wanted to raise their family here even though the path to citizenship would be a long one. The pair had trained as tool makers, so a family member put in a call to Tri-Tec and land her then-husband a job.

"He didn't know any English, but you know you could see that he knew to run the machines. So we basically said, 'Sure we'll hire you,'" said David Jones, General Manager of Tri-Tec Corporation.

Baica came on board shortly thereafter, learning English and eventually becoming a U.S. citizen. She says without the help of Tri-Tec, it would not have happened -- which is why marking 25 years with the company is such a big deal.

"Everything we need, it was always somebody there bringing us some kind of help," said Baica.

Baica's sister wound up marrying one of Baica's Tri-Tec co-workers. She got her citizenship just last year.