Pictured at Metropolitan's Save Water 365 Booth at the 2018 Taste of Soul Event are volunteers from the Black Employees Association: From left are Ron Shute, Jannice Hill-Haynes, Lydia McGee, Barbara Boucher, Octavia Tucker, Benita Lynn Horn, Dan Guillory, Dora Williamson, Dante Boyd and Ken Ashford
A weekly newsletter by and for Metropolitan employees
October 29, 2018
Leadership in Building a Diverse Workforce
Last Thursday, W.I.N.T.E.R. (Women in Non Traditional Employment Roles) honored GM Jeff Kightlinger for Metropolitan's leadership to recruit and hire more women in construction and other skilled labor trades.
Also honored were LA Mayor Garcetti, LA County Supervisor and Metro board president Sheila Kuehl, and Jenna Dorrough, a graduate of the program who now works as a carpenter for Metro.
Like the construction industry, the water industry since its beginnings has been a male-dominated industry. Change has been slow, but Metropolitan and other public agencies are making strides to hire, train and support women in these important jobs.
Attending the event were Chairwoman-elect Gloria Gray, Directors Judy Abdo and John Murray, and more than 20 Met employees, including many members of the Women at Metropolitan (WaM) organization.
The Legend of
Bandit's Pass
Bandit’s Pass. The name evokes visions of the Wild West and of outlaws lurking in the mountains, waiting to rob unsuspecting pioneers. 

In fact, it’s the name of a small section of the Whipple Mountains in the Mohave Desert, between Metropolitan’s Gene Camp facility and Copper Basin reservoir, just west of the Colorado River near Parker, Arizona.

Years ago, when the Colorado River Aqueduct was being built, some workers brought their families and set up camp in the area. Entertainment options were few. But it was a tight-knit group and they made their own fun.

Each Halloween, the tradition was to load all the camp’s kids in a large wagon that was pulled by horses or mules. On the journey up the mountain pass at night, with only the light of the moon, adults would tell Western ghost stories about robbers who came to steal gold or other valuables.

As the tension mounted, the large wagon came to a turn in the road. There, in plain sight, was a large Sonoran cactus, dressed to look like a giant bandit in custom-made clothes, carrying a rifle and wearing a belt of ammunition. That would elicits screams and shrieks and eventually laughter by (most of) the children.

The tradition continued for many years and that's how this part of the mountains became known as Bandit’s Pass.   
Putting the 'Real' in
Real Property
From her start as a data entry clerk to her move up the ranks in administrative and analyst positions, Real Property Section Manager Octavia Tucker has followed the same rules along the way—learn, observe, teach.

Learning and observing resulted in Octavia catapulting her Met journey from administrative analyst to team manager positions in WSO, where she used her management skills to oversee the Business Management and Machine Shop Teams and Facility Management at La Verne. From there, Octavia became Section Manager in Administrative Services.

After 29 years at Metropolitan, Octavia is still learning and observing, with recent rotations as Section Manager in HR and as Board Administrator before settling into her new role with Real Property. Next stop for the avid learner is completing her doctorate in business administration and transitioning into academia to teach.

What lessons does Octavia offer those seeking to move up at Metropolitan? “Step out of your comfort zone and reach higher than you think you can go.” The self-proclaimed introvert believes her willingness to do new things helped her succeed when opportunities arose. For Octavia , the next level is observing and learning about the Real Property Group, where she's sure to make even more ‘ real‘ progress.
New hires, transfers, promotions & retirements are posted here each month.   
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