By Chuck Walker
MOBILE, Ala. – Making things better or leaving a place better than it was, is a goal many people pursue.
If one is successful at achieving this aspiration, it may often lead to a successful and fulfilling career.
One person who is striving to make a difference on the job and help encourage young people pursue a career In the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Mobile District, is Troy Ephriam.
Ephriam, a Civil/Hydraulic engineer with the Water Management team, says his interactions with others is the foremost part of his job.
“People are the best part of my job,” Ephriam said. “The people I get to work with both internally and externally make my job enjoyable. Our team has cultivated a working environment that has become more a family than a co-worker setting. That makes it a great environment in which to work and makes doing the job easier.”
The water management section is responsible for the daily operation of 27 projects. It is also responsible for water released daily to meet up to seven legally authorized purposes.
The team’s responsibility is a 24/7 job. Similar to the on-site operators at the projects the team has to be prepared to respond to emergency situations such as a flood event, mechanical malfunction, search and rescue efforts or other related extreme events.
It is their job to ensure the public health and safety of municipalities and industries impacted by their operation.
In this light, it is easy to see why Ephriam finds his job satisfying and rewarding.
“Coming to work every day, I know what I do makes a difference,” Ephriam said. “Water Management does require 24/7 monitoring of the river basins, which means you eventually take personal ownership of the decisions made within the basin leading you to want to make those connections with occupants within the basin. Knowing the decisions made from our office directly affect stakeholders living on the reservoirs and rivers makes coming to work easy and my job fulfilling.”
James Hathorn, Water Management section chief, said that the skills Ephriam has have not only made him a model leader on his team, but for the District as well.
“Troy possesses a unique blend of intelligence, humility, compassion, confidence and humor,” Hathorn said. “He is an integral member of our Water Management team and has quickly elevated himself to a senior engineer and leader. His thoughtful communication skills are utilized to perform extensive knowledge transfer with our younger team members and management. There is no doubt that his faith and family comes first in his life, but you will be challenged to find a more dedicated employee. Simply stated, Troy is a model employee that others are naturally attracted to and his presence improves our district office.”
Ephriam, who began his career in the District in 2014 as summer hire, is devoted to giving back, community engagement and recruitment for the District.
“Giving back is an undeniable passion of mine,” Ephriam said. “Encouraging young minds to continue to grow and expand their knowledge. It is important to remind them to not limit their goals and aspirations. These young minds today are the decision makers of tomorrow. Recruiting young talent to the Mobile District is imperative to the growth of the organization, so as historical knowledge trickles out, there are very capable backfills in place to continue the trends set by their predecessor.”
As for what’s ahead, Ephriam said he wants to finish obtaining his Professional Engineer’s License. He would also like to become a subject matter expert for Water Management related tasks.
His advice to those considering on making USACE career, is not pass up an exciting, fulfilling career and a great place to work.
“Take the chance,” Ephriam said. “If you have the chance to work for USACE, you will not regret it. You get to work on projects that have a direct impact not only locally, but globally. The opportunities within the Corps are plentiful and if you have the desire, the Corps has a job for everyone, no matter the discipline. If you get bored working for the Corps, you have not looked in the right spot for your calling yet.”