Jose Vallejos, Field Technician, Ohio CAT
This week, I Build America Ohio is celebrating all of the men and women who make up Ohio’s construction workforce during the first-ever Construction Inclusion Week. The modern construction industry doesn’t look like the construction industry of previous generations. It’s made up of men and women of different backgrounds, cultures, faiths, orientations, and interests. The diversity of our workforce makes us stronger, and understanding the biases we all bring to our daily work is essential for creating an even better future for Ohio’s workforce. All week, I Build America – Ohio will be sharing the stories of various people in our state’s workforce who are working together to build Ohio.
Diversity and inclusion is important to the team at Ohio CAT, and promoting stories like this can help us broaden the diversity within our organization for the future. With a more diverse workforce comes the opportunity for new ways of thinking and the spark for new ideas. Working in teams that are diverse in nature opens dialogue and can promote creativity. We question why we do the things we do when we mix people of different backgrounds and life experiences. Being able to share those stories and experiences can only help to diversify our organization further.
Jose Vallejos has been in the construction industry since 1990 where he started at a Silver mine in Nevada. He joined Ohio CAT as a technician in 1994. For the last ten years, Jose has been a field technician for Ohio CAT. We asked Jose a few questions about his experiences in the construction industry.
Why did you choose to pursue a career in construction?
“I grew up on a farm and loved repairing farm machinery. A man once told me that welding and diesel mechanics go hand in hand. I can weld fairly well so I put the two together and here I am 32 years later.”
What do you like most about your job?
“I love taking care of customers. I pride myself on customer service.”
Do you have any advice for someone looking to get into construction?
“I would tell a young technician to make sure to give 100% all the time, be honest, and make sure to listen to the older technicians.”
What is one of your proudest moments at Ohio Machinery Co.?
“I would have to say the time I was given a job to repower a D11R for Oxford Mining. Our Canton branch had never done one before. I worked with two other technicians and we were all told what a great job was done by the crew. One more proud moment was on a pad site for Great Lakes Construction where they had a dozer go down. I was asked if I could look at it. I needed the Product Support Sales Rep to bring me parts, specifically a hose because the dozer had a blown hose. When the Sales Rep showed
up with the hose, he took a picture of my truck and sent it to Paul Liesem, Ohio CAT’s Vice President of Major Accounts at the time, and they put the picture on the Ohio CAT page. I was told that Paul put a story together for the work I did and thanked me for a job well done. I am proud to be the best technician I can be.”
Where do you see your career progressing in the future?
“I hope to move into a Product Support Sales Representative roll at Ohio CAT to provide customers with service and help in a different way.”
What do you think we can do to encourage a more diverse workforce in the construction industry?
“I think we need to bring young technicians into the field with us more for them to gain experience and see if they would like the field.”