How did you get into the profession / what inspired you?
In recent years, I realized that I have always been driven by an interest in helping people identify and reach their potential. It is the thing that gives me energy and a full sense of satisfaction. I was working in a different role in my current company and identified the need for a new position. I put together a proposal for the company president and he was willing to give it a try. That was almost two years ago now. It clearly showed that our company has a bold willingness to support new ideas and strive to be better than we were.
Why would you recommend a career in skilled trades?
There is something for everyone: you can work on your own, you can work with a team. No matter your preference, you can SEE the results of your work. During a 20-year career in the trades, you will have directly contributed to projects impacting tens of thousands of people. You make a real difference.
“There is something for everyone: you can work on your own, you can work with a team.”
What advice do you have for students or individuals who may be considering pursuing skilled trades?
DO IT! Don’t wait. It’s worth it. Learn about the opportunities that exist and how they relate to your skill set and passion. Imagine being part of the crew that built One World Trade in NYC. People come from across the world to see that structure. The work the men and women did on that project is admired every day. Who else can say that?
What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were looking into career opportunities?
During my transition from the Army, if I made a list of the places/industries I would end up in, construction/fire protection would not have been on the list. It is such a diverse and complex industry. I wish I had known just what opportunities there were in the construction. I use the experience of my transition to help Service Members transitioning out of the Army find employment in our company. It’s a great experience to introduce them to the industry and watch them learn how rewarding it is.
What’s your biggest career accomplishment to date?
My biggest accomplishment happens every time I get a chance to speak with another team member and show them how what they do matters. How what they do directly supports the success of the overall organization. How we couldn’t ‘win’ without them.
What’s one misperception that people have about your job?
It took a while for people to see the value my position adds. This is best shown through my relationship with our Vice President at Fire Alarm. We recently (July) had our apprenticeship program approved by the Department of Labor (DOL). It is the first US DOL approved apprenticeship for New Jersey. After working with him for the first month he told me that, prior to his recent experience he had no idea what I did. He didn’t realize the value I added to the company. I wake up every day focused on making the people of our organization ‘BETTER’: better leaders, better followers, better planners. During the process of working on the apprenticeship he became my greatest supporter and to this day he is out there drumming up support and new customers for me.
What are your future aspirations?
I simply want to have the greatest positive impact I can for the company that took a chance on a 46-year-old man whose only experience in life was 28 years in the Army. It’s something I don’t think I can ever repay, but I am going to do my best.
“I simply want to have the greatest positive impact I can for the company that took a chance on a 46-year-old man whose only experience in life was 28 years in the Army.”