December 3, 2018
Gilbert started at JCP&L in 1968 in Building Maintenance at the Morristown General Office. For the first 20 years of his career, he worked in various positions and at multiple locations, including West Wharton, Hopatcong, Franklin, Asbury Park and Farmingdale. In 1985, he took a job as a line worker at the Boonton Service Center – and never left.
“I’m probably one of the few people to have worked in every district in northern New Jersey,” says Gilbert, a chief lineman. “Although I spent time as a draftsman and in Building Maintenance, I always enjoyed working outside, which is why I spent the majority of my career in the Lines Construction & Maintenance Department.”
Gilbert credits his long career to working with good people and always being focused on safety. “Throughout my career, the one constant has been working safely,” he says. “OSHA guidelines have changed through the years, but the company’s commitment to keeping its workers safe hasn’t.”
One of the things Gilbert likes about his current job is training new line workers. “Some of our younger employees are the sons of linemen I trained 20 years ago. I enjoy teaching and am happy to pass on the things I have learned about the utility industry.”
According to Keith Paine, supervisor, Regional Operations, Gilbert is a great employee who has maintained his focus on safety his entire career. “Whenever Gilbert is on a job, I know the work will get done right,” says Keith. “When explaining tasks to our younger employees, he walks them through every step of the process. I’m glad he’s around to help us train the next generation of line workers.”
Operations Services Manager Abe Amawi echoes Keith’s comments. “Gilbert has a strong attention to detail, especially when it comes to safety,” says Abe. “He’s always willing to share his knowledge and to help others, and with 50 years of experience, he knows our policies and work procedures very well. It’s a pleasure having Gilbert on our team, and I congratulate him for reaching this career milestone.”
When Ron tried getting a job at The Illuminating Company (CEI) in 1968, he was told he was too short to be a line worker. “Back then, they had height requirements,” Ron says. “I still wanted to work for the company, so I took a job as a substation apprentice.”
Ron spent the next 40 years working in Substations, Safety & Training and even at a few power stations for CEI. In 2008, he moved to New Jersey to accept his current position of general manager, Substation Services, JCP&L.
When asked the secret to his long career, Ron says he doesn’t have one. He’s just been fortunate to have no major health issues and to work for a good company that cares about protecting its employees from injury.
“From the first day I started working at CEI, safety has always been the most important part of my job,” says Ron. “We didn’t have job briefing forms to fill out 50 years ago, but I’m glad we do now. The company has enhanced a lot of its safety rules through the years, and I think they’ve changed for the better.”
Although he’s made a lot of repairs during his career, Ron says the one thing you can’t fix is when an injury occurs. “The thing I worry about most is getting a call that someone got hurt. If you make a mistake in this line of work, it could be the last mistake you make.”
Dennis Pavagadhi, director, Operations Support, says that Ron has left an indelible mark on the company and on his coworkers. “Whatever the situation, I always can count on Ron to get the job done and to complete the work safely,” he says. “He leads by example and is a great mentor for our younger employees.”