“It’s often difficult to see the opportunities right in front of you, but my Dad knew what was best.”
While completing my civil engineering degree from the University of South Carolina, I became an intern at the Vulcraft plant in my hometown, Florence, South Carolina. My degree would eventually prove that I was capable, but it was on-the-job experience and learning from others that gave me the confidence to do my work well. Seeing I was born and raised here, I really couldn’t imagine coming back home after college. Fortunately, my father could. He knew Vulcraft’s reputation for being a great place to work, and now I realize the advantages of being at such a family-oriented company, especially one so close to my lifelong friends and family.
“At Vulcraft, there’s never a boring day.”
From the moment I learned about Vulcraft at a career fair, I wanted in. Sure, Vulcraft was a place were you worked hard, but it’s also laid back in many ways. Everybody is down to earth, and an open-door policy meets every question or concern. After working as an intern for two years, my knowledge has continued to grow as a full-time team member. Now it’s great to have the experience and support to improvise solutions to new problems. And there’s nothing like having an idea go from a paper sketch or a design program to seeing your design produced in the shop.
“When I was choosing a career, a lot of companies talked about innovation. At Nucor, I actually see it.”
People thought I was shy when I first started designing joists here, maybe because I was young, fresh out of Michigan State. Then I started talking. To anyone who would listen: my boss, the executive vice president, and even his boss, Nucor’s CEO. Imagine that, I was working less than 15 months, and I met the CEO. But that’s how Nucor works. Everyone has an open-door policy to new ideas that motivates me to design the best joist possible. One that will support far more than the roof it’s designed for. One that helps support our company.
“Longevity is common at Vulcraft. Nobody leaves. I’ve been here over 20 years and I have plenty of teammates who have been here longer.”
I’ve always sensed that Vulcraft is special. From day one, I felt welcomed and prepared to do my job. Someone was always thinking of the little things that make a difference. Over 20 years later, I feel the same, because at Vulcraft there are opportunities to grow. Here ideas come from the bottom up. We try things. Some fail, but that’s okay. We’re not fearful of change because we want to be on the leading edge. But that’s not to say we’re reckless. I call it, “smart caution,” and that means I’m empowered to take action without permission. With that comes responsibility and a sense of accomplishment that’s hard to find anywhere else.