Faces of National Fuel: Operations Supervisor Trenton K. on the Perks of Working for National Fuel
Family comes first for operations supervisor Trenton K, and working for National Fuel gives him the opportunity to work at a career he loves, while still allowing him freedom to attend soccer games, go to family functions, and ride his dirt bike. Trenton has been with National Fuel since 2015, and every day is a new challenge that allows him to problem-solve and learn new things. Read on to learn more about how Trenton balances work and family life at a job he sees himself in for the long run.
What his day-to-day responsibilities look like:
I’m one of two operations supervisors at the service center, and we share responsibility for managing the daily operations of this location. Between the two of us, we're in charge of everything at the service center: construction, customer service, and operations. Specifically, I'm in charge of the in-house construction crews that are responsible for installing and replacing gas services and doing main line gas replacement jobs. I also manage our contractors and the replacement jobs they do. On a day-to-day basis, it's a lot of planning and scheduling, meeting with homeowners, and pre-inspecting construction jobs before we begin any work.
What he loves about his job:
Every day is different. You're always learning new things and dealing with different challenges. It's fast-paced, and there's never time to get bored. Sometimes it gets stressful, but I'd rather be busy. I can't imagine being at a job where you watch the clock or can't wait until the day is over.
On how his work challenges him:
Things change quickly around here, so you really have to be adaptive and be able to plan and problem-solve.
The path he took before National Fuel:
I went to Pennsylvania College of Technology in Williamsport for building construction. Initially, I was going for an associate degree, but then I stayed for a bachelor’s degree in construction management. From there, I got an internship with a company in Northern Virginia, and that turned into a full-time job. Around that time, the housing market and the building industry started to crash, and I transferred to the Virginia Beach market. Then, I had an opportunity to go to another large builder in the area. That's where I was before I came to National Fuel.
Why he chose to work for National Fuel:
I remember seeing the job description online, and it seemed like a really good fit for me. The responsibilities included a lot of things that I’d been doing for the last ten years, and I knew a lot about National Fuel because I grew up around here. They seemed like they treated their employees well, and I decided to apply for it. I came from the building industry, which was affected by the housing downturn. Working for a company like National Fuel was really important, because layoffs aren’t common. Having job security with my young family at home was a huge selling point for me. When I interviewed, I really liked the managers and their vision for the company. That’s what sold it for me.
How his job has exceeded expectations:
If anything, this job has worked out better than I anticipated, in every respect. When I was leaving the other company I worked for, they said, “You know, the grass isn't always greener on the other side.” In my situation, National Fuel has been.
Achieving work-life balance:
I used to work a lot of hours at my old place. At National Fuel, I haven’t worked nearly as many. We’re also given paid time off, and they encourage you to use it, even though it can be hard to do when you're a manager. My first year here, I wasn't used to using all of my vacation time. My boss called me toward the end of the year and said, "Why do you still have these days off? We want you to take those.” It was really nice to hear.
How that balance has helped his family life:
My personal life has really benefitted from the work-life balance at National Fuel. My wife and I get to see our extended family often, and we don’t have to miss weddings or special events. We also have a flexible work schedule as part of our benefits package where you can work longer days earlier in the week and take a half day off on the fifth day. I don't miss doctors’ appointments, and now I actually go to the dentist every six months. I don't miss my kids’ school plays. There's a lot of stuff that I used to miss out on while working the hours that I did, and now I’m really encouraged to have a life outside of work.
What his ideal day looks like:
I would ride dirt bikes or four-wheelers with the guys in the morning, and then the rest of the day would be a big bonfire party. That's my favorite thing to do—have a big bonfire in a field with friends and family.
On his proudest accomplishment:
My biggest accomplishment is my family, but I'm also proud of my job and what we do at National Fuel. Anytime somebody asks me where I work or what I do, there's pride there when I tell people I'm an operations supervisor at National Fuel.