Chief Draftsman, Jeffords Steel & Engineering
Albert Clark may be the quintessential Millennial — multi-tasker, connected, tech-savvy. Albert made a bold and brave career change, diverting from a planned architecture design future to become a passionate structural steel chief draftsman. When you listen to Albert talk about his work, it is clear that his pure joy and enthusiasm for his work and the company fortunate to have him is genuine. He credits his mentor and work colleague, Marcel Breton, for sharing his knowledge and expertise to help him achieve the successes he enjoys today
How do you maintain a work/life balance?
I usually come into work an hour and a half early each day to get my work done, Then I have all weekend to frequent the Adirondack park and go hiking as a bit of therapy. There’s no better feeling than coming in on a Monday after hiking one of the beautiful Adirondack peaks!
What important lessons have you learned in your career?
By far the most important lesson that I have learned in my career is that hard work really does pay off. I have strived over the past several years to try and make a lifelong career for myself in this field, and so far so good!
What’s most exciting trend happening in the community right now?
This is an easy one. I am excited about the trend of new microbreweries that have popped up in town, especially the 2 that are within a mile of my house!
What would make the North Country a more enjoyable place to live and work?
As someone that loves what Burlington has done with their waterfront expansion projects, I would love to see more development along the Plattsburgh waterfront. As we all wind down from our stressful work days, it would be nice to have an area to really enjoy the glory of Lake Champlain.
What’s your biggest professional success?
My biggest professional success has been detailing the new Alchemist brewery in Stowe VT. This particular project was challenging because the complex rolled beam system that made up the roof of the structure. Also, the design team for the brewery wanted to keep all of the structural steel exposed to the public’s eye which made it challenging from a detailing standpoint. I encourage everyone to head over and take a tour when they open this summer!
What’s your dream job?
As a child, I always took interest in Architecture, and therefore wanted to aspire to become an architect. It took 4 years of college and many years interning under an architect for me to realize this wasn’t what I really wanted. After doing some job hunting and a little soul searching, I stumbled upon Jeffords where they were hiring for a steel draftsman position. Immediately I took interest in the field, and with the previous experience I already had, it has been the perfect job. I someday hope to have a large team of us here where we can continue to do some great work.
Who is your mentor and what have you learned from him/her?
One individual that I have learned a ton from over the years is my work colleague Marcel Breton. Marcel is someone that has been in the steel detailing industry all of his life, and reminds me every day how life was before the computer. Without his knowledge and expertise, I don’t believe I would be where I am today.
How do you contribute to the culture of your company?
Being one of the youngest employees on the Jeffords team, I am constantly looking for new ways to keep the company up-to-date. I use technology every day, and I like to find new software and ideas that allow us to stay current
What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?
The biggest risk I’ve taken would probably be the switch from the world of Architectural design to structural steel. I have had moments where I questioned whether I should continue to search for an Architecture position, or commit to the field that I am in today. Overall, I’m happy I took the risk!
What is something that no one would guess about you?
People might not know that I really enjoy listening to EDM (Electronic dance music). It is a genre of music that is really up beat and gets me in the groove of my day. Don’t get me wrong I listen to just about everything, but this wave of new generation music really pumps me up.
Write a note to your younger self…
One thing that I would say to my younger self is to not give up on what you want for yourself. There will be times when you are struggling to get by, and you can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel. But you will get there. Keep yourself motivated and focused on what you want, and not what everyone else wants. Because in the end you have one life to live, your own!