Lisa McCurty’s ‘fork in the road’ happened decades ago, but she hasn’t forgotten the moment she made a pivotal decision to leave her waitressing job for a better life. Lisa left her childhood in Olympia behind in 1981 when her parents relocated the family to Moses Lake. After graduating from high school, Lisa worked as a waitress. However, it took ten years for her to realize that she had had enough and saw an opportunity in Grant County’s industrial sector.
“When I started my career at REC (ASIMI then), I knew absolutely nothing about the job! I was told it was a good place to work and that was all I knew. I didn’t really choose it by knowing a lot about it. My world and perspective of what I knew about the job industry really changed at that time.”
Lisa’s longstanding legacy with REC Silicon began when she was hired for an entry level position as a reactor technician; it was a job that didn’t come easy for Lisa and nearly deterred her.
“The job itself was very hard in the beginning and after the first couple weeks, I didn’t think I would make it. I quietly suffered and tried not to show how much I was struggling. Things became easier as I got stronger and learned more of the job. I never thought I would be running a 20-ton crane, driving a forklift, going home covered head to toe in poly dust (nice brown dust). But, I did it and I continued to get better.”
Lisa’s persistence began to dole out dividends when she decided to apply for a position with REC’s (ASIMI at the time) Product Finishing Department where she advanced her standing as an employee after becoming a lead operator and back-up supervisor.
“My supervisor at the time encouraged me to apply for a supervisor position that was open in the company and I was awarded that job. There were many many changes after that with the company including a large layoff which would give me more supervisor responsibilities and more departments to learn. Some years later I would be part of the commissioning of the new Fluid Bed unit. My learning would increase significantly while doing this job. I became very familiar with that unit which allowed me to be promoted to Fluid Bed Production Specialist. I created the first unit improvement team and we were able to make some very significant changes which were beneficial to the department,” Lisa told Grant County’s Industrial Alliance.
After proving she could perform at a more-than-satisfactory level in her various roles, her superiors felt she had what it took to apply her transferable skills to a position in REC’s human resources division; a position that brought her tenure full circle since starting at the polysilicon plant years ago.
“My current title is human resources representative. This entails all aspects of employee relations, employee and supervisor coaching, payroll changes, staffing needs, recruiting and retention.”
Lisa and her employer have formed a strong bond during her 25-year tenure with REC Silicon in Moses Lake. A mutual trust has been formed between she and the company with her knowing that they’ll take care of her, and they, knowing that she’ll take care of them.
“This may sound crazy, but I have absolutely loved this job for the entire 25 years of working here. Each job I have held has been different, but at the same time, challenging. This job has allowed me to raise my children with a good salary. REC has been a family-friendly company, they have held functions over the years I have really enjoyed, and my children have memories of them also. I have been able to do some travel for work in places I would not have otherwise been able to. One fond memory was being able to see Norway, where REC Silicon is headquartered, I will always appreciate that. I have had excellent mentors and people who believed in me and gave me chance to succeed. I cannot see myself at any other job, it’s a great place with great comradery.”
Lisa says REC not only empowers its employees, it also helps foster a thriving community.
“REC has been well known by many children in this area for years supplying the cars and volunteering at the solar car races. It is enjoyed by all who attend.
Also, REC has been a supporter of local scholarships which help promote education and skills for our local community.”
Believe or not, once upon a time, Lisa looked at Moses Lake as a ‘pit stop,’ a personal notion that faded over time.
“I love that this area still has the small-town feel. People generally want to help each other. I love the long summers and beautiful lakes we have all around us.
I used to think I wanted to move to a larger city, but I am totally at home here and have no plans to leave.”
And as Lisa became more intertwined with the Moses Lake community over time, the more compelled she felt to ‘pay it forward.’
“I am a huge animal lover. I wish I could adopt them all. I like to help through HopeSource to reach people who are having homeless or addiction issues by getting them the supplies or resources they need to help them out of their situations. I also support all company charitable events by attending and volunteering. This includes solar car races, Boys and Girls Club, BBCC scholarships, Relay for Life, CBCF, local food bank, Samaritan Hospital and many others.