September 21, 2021

James Harris is the day shift lead plant maintenance technician and shop steward. He leads a team of 21 across three shifts to monitor and maintain building systems at all Lab sites 24/7 and 365 days a year. He also recently won the contest on the Lab’s employee recognition platform Bucketlist for giving the most number of recognitions in August. In celebration of World Gratitude Day, this profile shares more about the critical work he and his team does and why giving recognition is important to him.

Outside of the Lab, James enjoys spending time with his family and working on older and classic cars.

As the day shift lead plant maintenance technician, what are your day-to-day responsibilities and how does your work support Berkeley Lab’s mission?

I’m responsible for monitoring and maintaining the building systems at all the Lab worksites and training new employees. My team and I work on everything, including underground utilities, energy monitoring control systems, boilers, pump/motors, assisting researchers with the building nuances and understanding facilities processes. We literally keep the Lab up and running.

What has been a meaningful accomplishment for you at the Lab and what makes it stand out?

One big accomplishment for me is becoming a full-time day shift lead within five years at the Lab. I’m also proud to say that I’ve serviced every building, which is pretty special as I’ve seen and learned so much about the various projects and research happening across the Lab. It’s difficult to single out an achievement as I constantly get to work with the different crafts and divisions that provide exceptional service and efficiency to the Lab. Dealing with everything from building leaks to a planned outage, I can usually expect to learn something and grow in this positive work atmosphere.

You’re an active user on the recognition platform Bucketlist. Why is employee recognition important to you?

I like that it’s a forum where we can show appreciation to our fellow workers in their day-to-day tasks that keep the Lab running. It’s important to be able to highlight our team’s accomplishments which may go unseen by most of the Lab, especially because of the pandemic. I’m moving around the Lab all day, so I also like that I can snap action shots of great work being done, and easily use the mobile app to give recognition while on the go.

James with one of his classic cars (above) and a few of the recognitions he's given (below)