Staying in the Loop
It is no secret that concrete is a male-dominated industry. However, Jessica Tatroe has broken down those barriers and found a place for herself in the business of concrete.
Jessica was in a completely different line of work before switching it up to work with concrete.
The Covid pandemic brought Jessica to the industry. “I did hair for 13 years. During Covid, they shut down all of the salons. I was unable to gather unemployment, so I went to work for my dad doing concrete.” Jessica says, “it started off as more of a joke because I needed a job, but I ended up really liking it and being good at it.”
She is a Loop Belt conveyor operator for Royevnoc Material Placement. Her journey in the concrete world began in 2020, but her employer got a Loop Belt in 2021. It was then that Jessica’s dad wanted her to train on the machine. “Our company was talking about buying a conveyor, and I was the only one instructed to learn how to operate it. I got my CDL on my own and learned how to run a conveyor,” said Jessica.
For Jessica, concrete runs in the family. “My dad has been in the business for a long time. My Grandpa also had a concrete business as well.”
When it comes to being a part of a successful business, it started with her experience with the SCHWING Loop Belt. “I’m a little spoiled because I have only ever gotten to run a SCHWING.” She says that at this point in her career, she wouldn’t want to work with another piece of equipment from another brand. “I don’t see why I would want to try another brand. The SCHWING is easier to work with and operates better. I have been offered jobs elsewhere with the competitor, but then I don’t get to use the SCHWING anymore.”
Jessica is the conveyor expert at Royevnoc. The SCHWING loop belt is easy to operate, especially for the beginners Tatroe teaches. “I can take it apart, put it back together again and am comfortable with showing others how to use it,” she shared.
At one point before continuing her journey working with concrete, she went back to the salon.
“I didn’t enjoy that as much anymore and wanted to stay with construction.” She says another part of her love for working in the industry is that she can work outside and loves meeting the people in the business.
Working in a male-dominated industry, Jessica has had to overcome some challenges to get where she is today. “Everybody knows me, that’s for sure. But everyone has been so helpful. I went into this completely blind and not knowing how to do any of this, but all of the other
loop belt conveyor operators I have met have been very helpful,” says Jessica. Although she is the only female out on most jobs, she says that she’s not afraid to ask for help.
Jessica says that it’s convenient to have a Loop Belt for the business and that they get a lot of use out of it. “Now I am turning into my dad and my grandpa. We will drive by a gas station or something we have helped build and I will say, hey, we built that!” Although Jessica still has
her the talent to cut hair and work in a salon as needed, her passion is now within the concrete industry. “I love being outside all the time. I like meeting everyone, all the different people I have come across. It’s much more laid back than my other job. I like the independence of it all.”