Hard Hats and Handshakes: GPRS Project Managers Exhibit Blend of Skills

Hard Hats and Handshakes: GPRS Project Managers Exhibit Blend of Skills

Interested in Location/Detection?

Get Location/Detection articles, news and videos right in your inbox! Sign up now.

Location/Detection + Get Alerts

Four hundred of 700 employees at Toledo, Ohio’s GPRS (which stands for Ground Penetrating Radar Systems) are in the field. They are pushing or carrying ground penetrating radar units and searching for unseen obstacles that contractors dearly want to avoid finding with their buckets and drill bits.

However, they’re also interacting with clients, sending reports to them and negotiating with them to land additional work assignments. These field personnel are the face of the company, with enough clout on a job site to propose and close a deal.

They’re called project managers, rather than technicians. The question is, are they blue-collar or white-collar employees?

“I’ve never thought about categorizing them one way or the other,” says Jamie Althauser, who directs field support for GPRS. Because he started in the field, he brings personal perspective to the question.

“I loved being in the field. You get dirty and work hard in sometimes very cold conditions. The work is very blue-collar,” he says. “But if a field person is going to be good at the job, the person also needs to be good at building relationships with clients and at writing reports. We look for well-rounded and well-spoken and educated individuals to be our project managers.”

Whether they are blue-collar or white-collar workers, they indeed work hard, including wrestling with equipment on sometimes challenging job sites. It follows that the field personnel must be physically agile. 

However, the company is constantly adding new services to the lineup — such as drone imaging and leak detection — and those tasks can be physically less demanding. GPRS sees them as a means to retain human assets. 

“All of the services we have added in the last three years — camera work, leak detection and so on — can extend the career of our employees by getting them off their knees to, say, just holding a microphone and listening for leaks in a pipe,” Althauser says.  

Read more about GPRS in the March 2023 issue of Cleaner magazine.


Comments on this site are submitted by users and are not endorsed by nor do they reflect the views or opinions of COLE Publishing, Inc. Comments are moderated before being posted.