New Faces at LJSP
As the park team prepares for the busy summer season, help has arrived in the form of two new permanent employees who have brought the maintenance crew back up to full staff. One of them is a familiar face many regular park visitors will recognize; the other has been coming to Lake James State Park nearly his entire life.
In late January, Justin Allen turned in the “seasonal” title beside his name and exchanged it for a “permanent, fulltime” designation as a Maintenance Mechanic I. Justin was born and raised in McDowell County and is an alumni of McDowell High School. He has worked hard during the last five years as a seasonal General Utility Worker to achieve his goal of becoming a maintenance mechanic.
“I’m glad it finally happened,” he said. “I feel like this is ‘my’ park and that’s the attitude everyone has who works here. When something needs to be done, we treat it like it’s our own and we get it done. It’s never seemed like work to me. I like being here and I like completing projects that make the park better for everyone.”
A month later, the maintenance staff grew again with the addition of Keith Harris. Keith is also a McDowell County native and has previously worked for the City of Marion in both the construction and maintenance department and the water department.
“I’m looking forward to the opportunities I’ll have to grow here,” he said of Lake James State Park. “It’s going to be a different environment than I’m used to; getting outside and interacting with the public. I can see it’s a team effort here and I look forward to being a part of it.”