Without having prior earthwork knowledge or experience three years ago, Trent Davis has quickly moved up at Sunroc through hard work, paying attention to details, and a determination to get the job done right.
“I went right into selling timeshares out of high school and did that for 12 years,” Trent said. “Then, for the next 13 years, I cut trees down for a living. A friend of mine works at Beehive Insurance (a subsidiary of Clyde Companies like Sunroc) and she told me about a position opening with Sunroc. I applied, but I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Zero.
“I got a call to talk about the position, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to leave. The guy I spoke with kind of talked me into leaving, which I’m really grateful for. When I started my first day, I was put in front of a scraper and said to myself, ‘Is this my job now?’ I had never even seen one before.”
Despite a steep learning curve, Trent quickly learned to adapt to his new environment.
“The guy who trained me, unfortunately, wasn’t very patient,” Trent said. “I said to myself that if I ever had the opportunity to train someone, I wouldn’t go about it the way I was taught. I’m a people person, and there were a few times when I didn’t think it would be worth it to stick around, but I had some encouragement from Patrick Doyle (current supervisor), Shane Reary, and other coworker friends who kept telling me that things would get better. And they did. There were three or four people who really took their time to help me as I learned the job in the beginning, and I’m so grateful to them.”
After a year of working in a scraper, Trent started working in a dozer before leading his own scraper crew. Now, he drives a D6 dozer performing grade control.
“There’s no ‘I’ in team,” Trent said. “That’s what I always tell my crew. I try and show patience and train people whenever they need it because it takes a minute to pick up these big machines, especially if you’ve never done it. I like to show positivity and help others build confidence. I just want everyone I associate with to succeed. The employees I get to work with have become like family. Everybody’s here to help each other. We’re in the trenches together, so we’re family.”
Trent believes anyone of any age can come to Sunroc and succeed — from 18 to 80 — nearly everyone he’s met has found a home with the company.
“It’s just such a family-oriented place,” Trent said. “That’s huge when you go in somewhere new not knowing anyone and you’re welcomed with open arms. People want you to learn and succeed here. It’s just a great place to have a career. I wish I had started here in my 20s, but here we are.”
Because Sunroc is a subsidiary of Clyde Companies, the company is backed by an organization with funds and resources to support any undertaking.
“This is a $2 billion company,” Trent said. “They’re really here to support and train you. You get incredible benefits as well. This isn’t a company that’s going to shut the doors on you when you come in one morning. There’s always work in the wintertime, and I’ve never been laid off because there’s always something to do. And you can progress quickly. I always tell people to look at what I’ve accomplished within one year of learning, listening, working hard, and showing up. I hope to one day be a field supervisor or project manager, and I know that I can get there because of the support I’ve received here. To be where I am now three years later as the lead, training people, is amazing. If you just put in the time and hard work, you will go very far in this company.”