About 2 years ago, Laci realized she no longer found her desk job fulfilling. Wanting a new challenge, she stopped at her local workforce center in St. Charles to see if there were any interesting jobs for her. She learned that Operating Engineers run heavy machinery on highway and construction projects.
Laci thought that becoming an Operating Engineer was just the type of challenge she was looking for. She wanted a chance to be outside and to make a difference. She enrolled with the Rochester Workforce Development Inc. apprenticeship readiness program, then took the apprenticeship aptitude test. Getting a nearly perfect score on that test, she signed up for the Operating Engineer’s Registered Apprenticeship program.
“After my classroom instruction, I was able to go out in the field and put my new knowledge directly to work,” Laci said. “I worked on the Arden Hills 694/35W improvement project building on and off ramps. It was great experience.”
Grading dirt on the Arden Hills project was her first taste of the work she now loves. She says her favorite piece of heavy machinery is the motor grader and finisher. “It lays the groundwork for the concrete pour which becomes the highway surface.”