A Veteran’s View, Part 2: Mind the Details

Moments after boarding the bus to Milwaukee to begin her career in the Navy, Pinkie Wood received a phone call offering her an EMT job in her sleepy Northern Wisconsin town. Had she received the call a few hours earlier, she might have stayed, and taken an entirely different career path.

As it went, though, Wood served in the Navy for seven years as an oceanographic systems tech analyst, working on computers in “buildings with no windows,” she explains, and leaves her covert job description at that.

When she left the Navy as a petty officer second class in 1993, she transitioned to civilian roles, helping a trucking company get its IT systems operational, and working as an office manager for a drywall contractor. In 1997, she landed the opportunity that set her construction career in motion with Hampton Roads’ Peters & White Construction Co., which works on heavy utilities.

“They gave me a ton of opportunity; I was hired as a project administrator, I learned how to be a project manager, then a superintendent, learned to do estimating, and later become safety director,” Pinkie says. “I filled a lot of roles in that position and they gave me a ton of opportunity to grow. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”

Where she is today, as Hourigan’s Hampton Roads Safety Director, is a role that creates and implements safety policies and procedures and ensures that all project sites are compliant both with OSHA and our own stringent safety standards.

It’s been almost 25 years since leaving the Navy, but she said the military taught her career and life skills: writing (“critical for communication”), the importance of paperwork (“I learned at a very early stage in my life that if it isn’t in writing it didn’t happen”) and dealing with various management types (“the military gives you exposure to all kinds of personalities”).

But it is attention to detail, learned in the military, that has made her job as a safety officer so successful.

“The military teaches you to be observant, which is critical on safety walkthroughs. You can see all the things that are going right as well as those that could go wrong,” she says. “You must pay attention to the smallest of details – small today may be huge tomorrow.”

It’s more than workforce skills that translate into construction, though.

“Construction is really an ideal place for folks coming out of the military because it gives you that sense of family back that you had in the military,” she says. “In both construction and the military, you’re working with the same folks and working towards the same goal.”

She encourages military members who are transitioning into civilian careers, particularly construction, to be patient. “Take some of the best of what you have learned and the worst of what you learned in the military, and carve your own career path,” she says.

Pinkie is one of 11 veterans working at Hourigan, split between our two locations in Richmond and Hampton Roads. The vets’ roles range from project management to network engineering to IT director and even the company’s Chief Administrative Officer. Hourigan is certified as a Virginia Values Veterans (V3) company through the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, one of many to demonstrate a public commitment to hiring veterans.

NEWS: Leukemia & Lymphoma Society – Light the Night

We would like to say, “Thank You,” to everyone who came out and supported us at our various fundraisers, made a donation, or raised money individually in support of our efforts for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) Light the Night event.

Together we raised over $50,000 in support of finding a cure and ensuring access to treatment for blood cancer patients.

To find out more about how you can help those affected by blood cancer, please visit: http://www.lightthenight.org

 

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NEWS: HRACRE – Excellence in Development Design Awards.

We are pleased to have received two awards at this year’s HRACRE – Hampton Roads Association for Commercial Real Estate Excellence in Development Design Awards.

Our “ADP Center of Excellence” project was presented with an Award of Merit in the “Best Interior” category and our Tidewater Community College “Renovate Bayside Building” project was also recognized with an Award of Merit in the “Best Educational Building” category.

Congratulations to all involved with these outstanding projects! Nathan Leonard (Client Solutions Manager), Carrie Kane (Marketing Manager) and Andrea Wilson (Pursuit Coordinator) accepted the awards on Hourigan’s behalf.

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NEWS: Greer Environmental Sciences Center Dedication and Ribbon Cutting

Check out some photos from the dedication of the Greer Environmental Sciences Center at Virginia Wesleyan University! More information on the Greer Environmental Sciences Center can be found here.

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A Veteran’s View: The Next Mission

For four years, Larry served as a Navy coxswain, driving and navigating a variety of small watercraft, from 40-foot personnel transporters to rigid inflatable boats, that move troops ashore or between vessels.

Toward the end of his service, in 1997, Larry began searching for a job in the commercial construction industry, seeking “a place where I could start out on the ground level and work my way up.” His goal was to reach the role of a construction superintendent.

a military services veteran employee at hourigan construction

Larry found Hourigan Construction, and over a 20-year career here has risen in the company’s own ranks from a $7.50-an-hour laborer to a salaried project executive. He says there are four skills that readily transfer over from the military to the construction industry: attention to detail, teamwork, leadership and safety.

The rest, as they say in the military, has to be learned in OJT (on-the-job training). He stresses patience for service members looking to join a private sector construction job.

“While leadership qualities and teamwork easily transfer over, you have to have patience in learning the actual job, and you need to find a company like Hourigan that is willing to work with you to build your job skills,” Larry says. “You’re not going to come out here and be a superintendent immediately. But with a little bit of patience you will find it very rewarding and fulfilling.”

Larry is one of 11 veterans working at Hourigan, split between our two locations in Richmond and Hampton Roads. The vets’ roles range from project management to network engineering to IT director and even the company’s Chief Administrative Officer. Hourigan is certified as a Virginia Values Veterans (V3) company through the Virginia Department of Veterans Services, one of many to demonstrate a public commitment to hiring veterans.

Hourigan is one of a few dozen companies attending the V3 Hiring Event on October 16th in Richmond. The event, free to registered veterans, will be held from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at The Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course prior to the practice rounds of the Dominion Energy Charity Classic Golf Tournament.

Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is scheduled to kick-off the one-day hiring event and welcome veterans and corporate representatives attending. The goal is to give Virginia veterans and transitioning service members the opportunity to meet one-on-one with representatives of many of the Commonwealth’s top employers.

Virginia Values Veterans (V3) Hiring Event 

October 16th
9 a.m. – 1 p.m.

Free to registered veterans
Country Club of Virginia’s James River Course
709 South Gaskins Road
Pre-registration is required and free for veterans and service members.
Register here.

NEWS: 161 Granby: Straightening the Leaning Tower

Learn more about the work we’re doing with Speight, Marshall & Francis, P.C. and Marathon Development Group to straighten the “Leaning Tower of Norfolk.”

NEWS: Final Photos of the ODU Dining Hall

More information on the ODU Dining Hall project can be found here.

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NEWS: Harrisonburg Happy Hour

We enjoyed meeting with various local partners during a Happy Hour that we hosted on the rooftop at Jimmy Madison’s. We look forward to forging new alliances and relationships in this area of the state.

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NEWS: Final Photos of the ADP Facility in Downtown Norfolk

More information on the ADP facility can be found here.

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NEWS: Georgiadis Hall Tour

The Central Virginia office took a tour of the Georgiadis Hall renovation jobsite at the Reynolds Community College Parham Road Campus. After the tour, the team went over to Frida’s Mexican Restaurant for some appetizers and drinks!

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