Join PCI Mid-Atlantic in celebrating military personnel making significant contributions to the precast concrete industry. Our May “Veterans in Precast” blog series highlights a few individuals who have cultivated successful precast and prestressed concrete industry careers. They represent roles in production, engineering, sales, various administrative positions, and purchasing, to name a few. These professionals have found meaning, purpose, and success in the construction industry, manufacturing products for our nation’s infrastructure and many buildings across the Mid-Atlantic region.
Service Background Skills are Fit for the Construction Sector
When speaking with veterans and researching the many reasons for hiring qualified former military personnel, the benefits are substantial—veterans bring the following attributes and characteristics to the workplace:
- Proven leadership and readiness for leadership roles
- Mission-focused approach to work
- Experience working in diverse teams and organizations
- Ability to adapt and make immediate contributions
- Strong work ethic
- Capacity to perform under pressure
- Creative problem-solving skills
- Self-starting initiative
Lydia Laughlin, Payroll Administrator of Northeast Prestressed Products LLC, is a brilliant representative of how people with service backgrounds bring valuable, transferable skills into the construction industry—even behind the scenes.
Lydia continues our Veterans in Precast blog series by sharing her service history, educational background, and work journey.
PCI-MA: Tell us a little bit about yourself
I served as an Aviation Electronics Technician in the US Navy for eleven years, where I met my husband of 38 years. We enjoyed the travel opportunities the Navy offers.
Brief Career Highlights
I started out here at NPP as a Sales Administrative assistant. When the Payroll position opened, management asked me to take the position where I’ve been for 19 years. Three years ago, I was asked to add Accounts Payable to my duties.
Family and Interests Outside of Work
My husband and I like to visit historical sites, go on nature and bird walks, and I read a lot of science fiction.
PCI-MA: How did you learn about the opportunity at your company?
Lydia: I was working for another company where I was not comfortable. I saw an ad for an office position here and applied.
PCI-MA: How have the skills you learned in the military helped you in the private sector?
Lydia: As I moved up in the Navy, I was placed into more administrative positions. I was better suited to administrative work because I’m an organized person, and I like structure. Office and administrative work can be very organized. Also, the military attitude is that everyone is an important part of the team; there are no unimportant jobs within an organization.
PCI-MA: What do you like most about your role and the company you work for?
Lydia: I’ve worked for NPP for 21 years, I enjoy the people I work with and like that they depend on me to keep things running smoothly. If employees or vendors are not paid properly, it can have a huge impact on the productivity of our operation.
PCI-MA: What project or initiative have you worked on that was particularly impactful to you?
Lydia: I’m proud that I’ve been able to make our Accounts Payable process completely paperless without outsourcing.
PCI-MA: What advice would you give a veteran interested in working in our industry?
Lydia: The military stresses conscientiousness and efficiency. Those qualities are important in the concrete industry. We make concrete bridge beams, and accuracy is imperative. Ultimately, people’s lives are at stake if we fail to do our jobs to the best of our abilities.
Find more of our Veteran in Precast series on our blog, and if you’re interested in carving out a career in precast concrete construction for yourself, browse our career center to get started!
About Northeast Prestressed Products LLC
Northeast Prestressed Products (NPP) maintains office, production, storage and fleet operations on a 28-acre site in Cressona, Pa., strategically located to the Pennsylvania Turnpike, Interstate 80, and other major transportation arteries. NPP serves agencies and contractors from Virginia to Maine, and hauls most elements with its own fleet, which includes customized trailers for delivering bulb-tee girders in the 175-ft. range—a size class for which the producers has been a forerunner in the Mid-Atlantic and New England Markets. Among its most notable recent projects, NPP delivered 52 bulb-tee girders for the Coplay-Northhampton Bridge in Eastern Pennsylvania. Also known as the Chestnut Street Bridge, the three-span structure consists of five lines of our spliced bulb-tees, each with four grouted P-T tendons. For a project quote, email us at email@example.com.