10 Questions for Jose Figueroa
Happy Hispanic Heritage Month! To celebrate, we’re sharing interviews with Hispanic leaders from across Northwest Pipe Company, as they discuss their experiences and consider what Hispanic Heritage Month means to them.
10 Questions for Jose Figueroa
With a career spanning nearly two decades at Northwest Pipe Company, Jose brings a wealth of skills, knowledge, and experience to his current position as Supervisor II – Coating and Lining at our manufacturing facility in Adelanto, California. In this leadership role, Jose oversees the efficient operations of his department, including mentoring and training team members and ensuring the highest quality application of coatings and linings for steel water transmission pipe.
1. What is your job title and how long have you been with Northwest Pipe Company?
My current job title is Supervisor II – Coating and Lining. I have been with Northwest Pipe Company for 17 years.
2. Describe the journey leading to your current position?
My journey started when I was 23 years old. I actually came from a temp agency. My career experience over the course of 17 years consists of titles starting with Stalling, Hydro, Liner Operator, End-square, Pick-up Welder, Laborer, Lead B – Liner, Prepper, Machine Operator, Hand Paint Operator, Coal Tar, Tape System, Lead B – Paint Department, Lead A – Coating and Lining, and currently, for almost 2 years, Supervisor II – Coating and Lining.
3. What’s the most exciting thing about your job?
The most exciting thing about my job is coming to work with the same people I initially started with and watching all of us grow differently, advancing in our skilled trades.
4. Name two things that always brighten your day— one at work and one outside of work?
At work, the one thing that always brightens my day is being able to keep things simple with my teammates. When outside of work, I love going home and seeing my own kids grow, knowing that there is a piece of me in each of them.
5. The theme of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month is Esperanza: A Celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope. How does this theme of resilience and hope resonate with you?
The theme Esperanza: A celebration of Hispanic Heritage and Hope is putting in the work and waiting for your turn. In life, you have to learn patience and have hope and faith in what you do. Taking pride in your own accomplishments. Setting that positive light for family, friends, or coworkers.
6. Which current or historical figure of Hispanic Heritage do you admire most for their leadership, contributions, or service to others and why?
A historical figure that stands out to me has always been Cesar Chavez. Mr. Chavez does not just think about himself, he thinks about others. That is the mentality I have here and use with my teammates. Teamwork is what makes my department run at a successful rate. I use Mr. Chavez’s method of always looking at the bigger picture to make a change and owning the accountability within one’s self to make your workday productive. Mr. Chavez shows commitment in his leadership, and I look up to that while working with my team.
7. Name someone in your life who inspires you and why?
It’s not just one someone who inspires me. It is my family. My family has pushed me to become a better version of myself. I thank them for the positive changes that they have given me over time. They inspire me to do more. Change is not easy sometimes, but with a strong supporting family behind you, nothing seems impossible. They give me strength, hope, and the courage to master anything that comes my way.
8. What advice do you have for individuals entering your profession?
My advice for fellow individuals entering my profession is that hard work pays off. Stay focused and set some short-term goals for yourself. Accomplish them and stay committed to your position.
9. Are there any family traditions significant to you in celebrating your heritage?
In the Hispanic heritage, there are many family traditions, but one that is my favorite is the food. The food that comes with my culture has a lot of variety with different levels to choose from, and it brings family together. I love to explore Hispanic food.
10. What does Hispanic Heritage Month mean to you?
Hispanic heritage month is an acknowledgment. It is not hiding, it is showing who you really are, the pride in where you came from, and owning and bringing it out in a unique way. There is honor behind the Hispanic culture. We all have our own journey and all work hard on it. We all hold our own independence, journey, or legacy. Ultimately, at the end of it all, it is our honor that we take and pass down to our children.