Careers: The Engineering Experts

Tags Careers | Culture

When Mary Hein and Rebecca Gagan come into work every morning, there is only one certainty – today will be different from yesterday. As part of the engineering staff at LaForce, these women and the rest of the team manage the larger contract work that LaForce supplies. They possess good listening skills, a deep level of technical knowledge, and the stamina to juggle multiple jobs at one time. Both are adept at translating customer needs into LaForce solutions, and their long tenure – and results! – speak for themselves.

At LaForce, the Engineering team actually consists of three job titles: Project Coordinators, Project Engineers, and Project Managers. Duties overlap among each, and the primary goal is to complete projects efficiently and accurately, while providing superior service and communication. To achieve this, Mary and Rebecca work closely with their colleagues to ensure timely answers and resolutions.

Typical duties for the team include: detailing openings, maintaining customer relations, owning responsibility for project profitability, processing internal paperwork, preparing business correspondence, interpreting plans, specifications, and building codes, and managing extensive email and phone contact with customers and vendors.

Mary started with LaForce 23 years ago, and has held her Project Manager role for the past 20 years. Even with this long incumbency, she is quick to point out that she is constantly relying on the “wealth of knowledge” her colleagues possess. When she runs into a unique problem or question, for example, she knows she can find someone who has dealt with a similar situation.

She adds that a key skill is the ability to prioritize and multi-task, since there are days when she’s pulled into urgent matters right in the middle of working on other projects. Mary also enjoys listening to her customers and building good relationships. She acknowledges that each issue that arises is always very important to her customers, so she treats every issue – big or small – with urgency and efficiency.

Rebecca is another long-term Project Manager, who has spent 14 out of her 15 years at LaForce in this role. She thrives in the technical, problem-solving environment, and considers herself a “lifelong learner.” While directing projects, Rebecca maintains professionalism and confidence, which has caused her to be requested by many customers.

/Rebecca notes a couple of projects with particular pride: the Art Institute of Chicago, Epic in Madison, and the Seton Medical Center in Texas. She has handled jobs in every LaForce market, which includes jobsite visits for shop drawing reviews and hardware meetings.

Mary has stayed with her role at LaForce for such a long period of her career because of the variety of the job itself and the way she feels treated by the company – “very caring” is her description. Rebecca agreed, adding that she appreciates the stability of the company and the good team dynamic.

Mary and Rebecca close out their workday with the same certainty as the beginning: Tomorrow will present a whole new set of challenges.