Working alongside his uncle in the construction business, Lance Speer, who grew up in Copperas Cove, was able to develop a skill that has led him to work on projects he never imagined he would be monitoring.
Speer is a quality assurance representative with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Fort Worth district and has worked out of the Central Texas Area office at Fort Hood since April 2001. His hard work over the years earned him the Hard Hat award for the Fort Worth district and the entire southwest region.
“This was the first time I had been nominated,” he said. “It’s pretty much a goal of everybody that’s a quality assurance rep.”
Speer said it’s been several years since staff in the Central Texas office won the award, and he was excited when he got the official announcement.
Speer earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Tarleton State University in 1994. But Speer’s career headed in a much different direction from his area of study.
“I came back to work for my uncle’s construction company in Copperas Cove,” he said. “Then in 2001 I got the job with the federal government.”
The Army Corps award is often given to recognize the achievement of an employee in a particular field.
“The project engineer who wrote it up for me showed it to me before he sent it up to Fort Worth,” he said. “I was glad that he appreciates me that much that he would take the time out to write up the article.”
Speer was nominated for the award by his co-worker, Andrew Bury, who has worked for the Army Corps for about three years.
“We work hand in hand,” Bury said. “He’s the right hand, and I’m the left hand.”
Bury said Speer is someone people in the area office look up to.
“He’s got a lot of experience and so he provides a lot of good mentorship and he makes us better at our job,” he said. “It makes the job a thousand times easier.”
Speer helps provide a comfortable working environment when they tackle numerous projects.
“We had to do a lot of due diligence in advance to projects being awarded,” Bury said. “We get to see how they get developed, and Lance really has a lot of experience from previous projects he’s worked on.”
Speer also is favored on the homefront, as he juggles the job and stays active with his family. “I’ve got two girls so we are involved in gymnastics, tee ball, swimming and numerous things,” he said. “And when I get free time I play golf, deer hunt, and I like going out to the lake.”
Speer said he is finishing up projects in San Angelo at Goodfellow Air Force Base and continues to hire new people that the Army Corps sends his way.
He said he’s been thinking of going back to school in the future to obtain his degree in engineering so he can further progress in his field.