Q&A: Lawrence Allen, a Hard Hat Hero

Q&A: Lawrence Allen, a Hard Hat Hero



December 07, 2017

Lawrence Allen is an Army veteran with over four years of experience operating heavy equipment. In May of 2016, he transitioned from the Army as a heavy equipment operator. He immediately started working with NextOp and knew that he needed more than just his military experience to find great employment. He decided to pursue his NCCER credentials for heavy equipment. He also pursued his NCCCO certification. He was one of the first veterans who requested a Military Occupation Specialty (MOS) code crosswalk through NCCER’s program. A crosswalk serves as a way to see how a service member’s construction-related skill set will translate into the industry. Because of Lawrence’s request, the alignments for 12N were established as credentials.

After receiving his credentials, he immediately started working as a heavy equipment operator for Tetra Tech. This year, he was just promoted to team leader. Lawrence said that while his experience was crucial in his transition, it was the credentials that solidified him as the professional that he is today. At NextOp and NCCER, he is a true success story.

Where did you grow up? Military lifestyle…traveled all over the country with my father who was in the Air Force.

When did you enlist in the military? I enlisted in 2013.

What did you do in the military? I was a heavy equipment operator.

What was your proudest accomplishment in the military? Receiving the Sapper Spirit Award during AIT. I was the platoon leader and had some great motivation and leadership skills for my class.

Why did you decide to separate from the military? There were better opportunities in construction in the civilian sector.

How did you choose your civilian career path? It aligned with what I did in the Army. I took the skills that I knew and applied them to my civilian career.

How long before you left the military did you begin preparing for your transition? 90 days before transition.

When did you begin working for your company? I was subcontracted by Aerotek from December, 2016, to August, 2017. I was then hired by Tetra Tech for promotion in August, 2017.

Is this your first job since you got out? Second.

How did you get this job? I did a great job with Aerotek, where I was a subcontractor for Tetra Tech.

What does your current position entail? I manage, develop and evaluate a team of laborers on best construction practices.

What do you like best about your civilian job? Get to go home every day.

How would you characterize the pay? Fair and competitive, non-exempt.

Are there many other veterans in your particular company or field? No.

Would you recommend construction to service members looking for a civilian career? Yes, there are always new construction projects in every major city.

To learn more about Hard Hat Heroes and BYF’s military alignment program, please visit veterans.byf.org.

Cecilia A. Clark, Talent Acquisition Manager at NextOp, provided content to this blog.