Justin Childers began working at EGR in February 2008. He has worn many hats throughout his 12 years at EGR. Justin currently oversees the engineering and drafting department as department lead.
How’d you get your start? What did you do before?
I graduated from ECU with a degree in business management in December of 2007. My brother, Jared, had already been working at EGR for 2 years at that time. He suggested I apply here and since I already enjoyed wood working, I thought I would give it a try. Back in high school, my wood shop teacher called me Mr. Seminole wood shop because I would make things all the time. I even won an award for industrial arts for wood shop.
When I started at EGR nearly 12 years ago, we were a much smaller company. For the first 6 months, I did a bit of everything from making counter tops to assembling cabinets to casework delivery, which included driving the trucks and installing. After those 6 months, EGR’s lead engineer left and they moved Chip, our CNC operator, to the office to take over as engineer and put me in charge of running the CNC machine. I ran the CNC for a year and a half as EGR grew. Later, an opportunity arose for me to move into the office to work as an engineer. I learned quickly and thanks to my coworker’s guidance I became very good at my job. Shortly after, through different circumstances, I was blessed to become the lead over engineering and drafting.
Describe your day to day role as an engineer:
As department lead, I make sure all the drafters are on schedule with their jobs and I help communicate with the other departments about future drafting jobs and the statuses of current jobs. When it comes to the engineers, I look at the schedule and assign each person a task, including myself. I do the same work as all our engineers, but I also control the schedule.
The day to day work of an engineer is taking what is drawn in CAD to making it reality by using a somewhat complicated engineering program called Wood Cad CAM. Honestly, there are a few mundane and boring steps the engineer has to follow to get products ready for production, but it’s cool to see the finished product. To put it simply, it takes a focused, confident person to get everything correct and out to the shop.
What has been your favorite project to date and why?
Epperly Heights Elementary because it was very challenging due to 21 different laminate colors and a bunch of different designs of doors and drawer fronts. I had to be very creative on how I relayed all the different types of laminate colors and shapes to the shop and the install crew.
What is your biggest challenge on any given job?
The biggest challenge is trying to make sense of architectural drawings, especially when they don’t provide all the information or conflicting information. When we ask questions, the answer is not always clear, so it can be frustrating and difficult at times.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy playing all kinds of sports – indoor/outdoor volleyball, paintball, racquetball, disc golf and more. I have 2 boys, ages 5 and 7, who like sports as well and it is a blast helping them learn sports. I also help out at my local church where I am currently helping with the youth ministry. I have been blessed to work with children over the years.
What’s the most gratifying part of the job?
I enjoy the free lunches Darren occasionally provides, and the friendships I have made. It has been great being part of this team. Because of EGR and Darren’s generosity, I have been able to provide casework for two different start up churches free of charge. I would say that is the best part of my job, knowing that we have helped two local churches.
Favorite restaurant in OKC:
I don’t have a favorite, but I would say any Mexican restaurant works for me.
One word that best describes EGR: