NORCO Plant Operator Robin Cummings didn’t envision herself doing what she does as a career until later in life. After graduating high school in 2008, Robin embarked on working roles as a sales person selling cutlery, retail, and off performed seasonal duties at the Gorge Amphitheater.
As Robin contemplated her career path, she dabbled in the study of extended learning at Spokane Falls Community College. While studying at Spokane Falls Community College, Robin and her then boyfriend, now husband, joined the college’s Community Service Volunteers Program where they spent 12 months helping homeless youth in England. After concluding her studies in Spokane, Robin bounced around from job to job until she and her husband moved back to the upper Columbia Basin when he earned a teaching job at Ephrata Middle School in 2015.
Feeling a bit bewildered in her line of work at the Ross Dress for Less store in Moses Lake, Robin learned that she needed to realize her potential and make that critical ‘leap of faith’ in life.
“The job with Ross was what got me thinking about what I want to do with my life. I had enough retail for a life time and was ready to test myself. A friend’s dad said I should be an electrician and he explained his reasons. I couldn’t shake the excitement that stirred in me so I decided to go for it. After some research, it seemed that our very own Big Bend Community College (BBCC) offered what I was looking for and I signed up for the Industrial Electrical program. I loved it right away.”
Through the electrical program, Robin was introduced to the college’s Industrial Maintenance Mechanics studies; the gateway to her brighter future in the industrial sector. Robin says her career in industry began shortly after the concert season at the Gorge Amphitheater ended after graduating from BBCC in 2018.
Now, Robin earns a competitive wage from her occupation at NORCO; implying that her role as a plant operator is more than “just a job.”
“My favorite part of the position is getting put in difficult situations and having to figure out how to resolve issues on my own. I strong competitor for favorite part is learning to use new-to-me tools/equipment. What I love about Norco is the family atmosphere within its employees and the various forms appreciation and acceptance is shown.”
Robin says her career at Norco has put wariness about her career to rest allowing her to enjoy the ‘fruits’ of what Grant County has to offer.
“Grant County has awesome fishing, hiking, and motorcycle riding territory to list a few of the perks of the area. We have some of the best sun rises and sets I’ve ever seen. I love that you don’t have to go far to get out of town. Also, there’s a really cool ‘keep to yourself, unless you see someone that needs help’ atmosphere. I can’t leave out the lack of traffic is extremely appealing after living in Vancouver and travelling through Portland often.”