NASHVILLE, Tenn. (May 7, 2017) – William Earnest, maintenance worker at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Nashville District’s Lake Cumberland in Somerset, Ky., is the employee of the month for March 2017.
Earnest is being recognized for initiative, ingenuity and hard work in support of the Hydropower plant and Natural Resource Office areas. He supports daily maintenance activities at both Wolf Creek Dam and Laurel River Dam Power Plants, and also works with the Lake Cumberland and Laurel Natural Resource offices to help with their maintenance activities at the recreation areas and campgrounds.
Anthony Watters, Wolf Creek Dam powerhouse superintendent, said Earnest’s skill sets are a valuable asset to the Lake Cumberland team.
“It is an honor to have Earnest working with us. His skillsets are a valuable asset to the Lake Cumberland team and he is a role model employee whose ‘can do’ attitude is an example for others to emulate,” Watters said.
Greg Haste, senior mechanic at the Laurel River power plant, credits Earnests’ attention to detail and professional competence with saving the district hundreds of thousands of dollars and preventing significant lost time and lives.
During the replacement of a main unit vacuum breaker inside the Laurel power plant, Earnest noticed that several closing mechanisms and springs did not look right. Upon further investigation, he discovered that the main breaker had broken into several pieces and near the point of catastrophic failure.
Watters said Earnests’ individual efforts made a significant impact and prevented damages to the system and his actions saved time and money. More importantly, his sharp eye prevented injury to other employees.
“I think a few of his best qualities are that he has a great personality, is always cool under pressure, always looks to help others and improve his work,” said Haste. “He always has a smile and plays a big role in our success of the Lake Cumberland team.”
As a part of Earnests job, he also serves as the alternate captain on the district’s flagship debris removal vessel known as “The Pride of the Cumberland,” and he helps maintain Corps’ campgrounds and recreation areas around Lake Cumberland.
Watters said Earnest manages a flexible and sometimes heavy work load and routinely demonstrates excellent responsiveness and efficiency in repairing and improving recreational facilities.
“He is self-motivated, resourceful and routinely applies ingenuity in solving difficult tasks,” said Watters. “He is highly respected among peers for his courtesy and support, and is always a boost to team morale.”
As for being selected employee of the month, Earnest said he is humbled and it’s a good feeling that people noticed his efforts and accomplishments.
In his off time Earnest enjoys spending time with his wife Phyllis and family, and often spends time boating and fishing on Lake Cumberland. He said he likes to work in his woodshop, remodel houses and attend to his horses and cows on his small farm.
Earnest said he loves his job and working and interacting with people.
“I enjoy coming to work every day because I’m surrounded by great people that love what they do, which makes my job whole lot easier,” said Earnest.
Earnest’s initiative and commitment to the Nashville District mission make him an outstanding employee, according to Lt. Col. Stephen Murphy, Nashville District commander.
“Earnest is a role model employee whose ‘can do’ attitude is an example for others to emulate,” Murphy said. “His professionalism, dedication to mission execution and superior performance is a credit to the Nashville District, the region and the Corps of Engineers.”
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