Jessica Lifford, who is celebrating 19 years at Holston this year, learned of Holston’s values at a young age – mostly from her father, who worked there. He encouraged her to begin her career in the Summer Help program – a program designed to help young members of the community gain work experience – at the age of 17, and Jessica quickly realized she would one day call the entire team at HSAAP her family.
After working for three years in Summer Help, Jessica was offered a full-time job at HSAAP as a welder. Jessica went on to work as a Safety Industrial Hygienist and is responsible for safety on site, which she considers her utmost priority.
"I take safety very seriously. All I want is for my colleagues to go home at the end of the day in the same fashion they came in that morning. This is what I live by every day when I go into work,” Jessica shares.
Jessica is one of the team members who found real purpose at Holston, and she considers her role so much more than a job.
“Not many people can say they get to support the warfighter in the unique way that we do at the Holston Army Ammunition Plant. Additionally, BAE Systems gave me a professional opportunity, and I believe that others deserve that same opportunity, and I hope to support them as much as possible, while keeping them safe.”
During her time at HSAAP, Jessica met her husband, who, at the time they met, was a department team leader. After a few conversations about sports, love was in the air. Today, they have a son who is learning about Holston values, just like Jessica did in her house growing up.
Holston has always offered a place of encouragement for Jessica. During her time at Holston, BAE Systems helped put Jessica through her schooling, and she hopes new and future employees will have the same experience.
“The advice I've given employees is to enjoy the ride. It can be rocky at times, just like any job. It can have its ups and downs. But if you treat this opportunity as something that's very special, and you want to succeed, then you very much can. I think BAE Systems provides that opportunity for success. Prioritize doing the right thing for your coworkers and the company, and you can grow professionally and personally at BAE Systems.”
In looking forward, she hopes that Holston continues to strive towards continuing growth, fostering community and supporting the warfighters.
“My hope for Holston is that people just like me coming from a small town can find a place that they call home, a place that they can be a professional, and a place they can grow as a person. And that we keep protecting those who protect us.”