Cement Worker of the Month
Mr. William Mitchell was reared in Kreidersville, Allen Township, graduating from Northampton High School in 1975. While in school, he was a member of the track team and archery club.
“I wish the teaching I experienced could be duplicated in our present school systems.” he says.
Bill enlisted in the U.S. Army in 1975 and was a member of the 548th Combat Engineers. He was stationed at Fort Leonard Wood in Missouri and later at Fort Bragg.
His grandfather, father, mother and nephews have all served in the military. Son Jarrod continues the family tradition. He is presently stationed at Fort Bragg.
“One of my most rewarding experiences was when our unit was shipped to Guatemala to help rebuild the country after a terrible earthquake,” he remembers. “The residents were very grateful for our assistance.”
Returning home, Mr. Mitchell drove his trusty Harley on a two-month, 40,000-mile tour of the United States.
After spending a number of years in construction, he was hired by Lafarge in 1995 to work on the tire deck. Later, Bill worked as a packer in the pack house. Today, he is a member of the maintenance team, utilizing mechanical skills he mastered in the Army and from his father who was an excellent mechanic. He joined the maintenance gang as an apprentice and presently is a certified millwright after completing four years of training.
The maintenance team, under the supervision of Dave Tomasic, works to keep the plant operating in a safe and efficient manner.
“I thank my father for what I am today; the past helped me in my future,” Bill says. “Our 10-man team works closely together, and Dave Tomasic is a walking book of knowledge. I especially enjoy fabricating pieces of equipment at the plant and making things better.”
Safety is a number-one priority at the plant, where there are monthly safety meetings. Bill serves on the safety council, whose major objective is to prevent accidents and provide safe working conditions for all the employees.
Mr. Mitchell is a skilled and dedicated cement worker who enjoys his job. I am happy to say he was a fine student of this writer at Northampton High School.
“I hope this plant continues to operate for another 100 years,” he says. “Cement is our area’s heritage.”
In his spare time, he builds bikes and spends time with the family. He is married to the former Maria Kohler, who is a teacher in the Catasauqua Area School District.
Mr. Mitchell is proud of son Jarrod Crowell and stepchildren Thea, Neko and Kaden. The friendly family resides in Whitehall.
I wish Mr. Mitchell and all my friends at Lafarge a safe and prosperous year at the century-old Cementon plant.