Career With Many Roles Provides Unique Perspective
After more than 25 years working at Alaska Housing, Pat Cochran has seen the organization from the inside out.
Today, Pat is a maintenance mechanic who services AHFC’s Williwa Manor in Wasilla, which provides housing for seniors and individuals with disabilities. But through the years he has held a wide array of jobs, which allowed him to explore different interests and skill sets – all while providing a unique perspective on how Alaska Housing fulfills its mission of providing safe, quality, affordable housing.
“I’ve worked in the corporate offices and I’ve worked out in the field with clients a lot,” Pat said. “It’s given me a clear understanding that everybody who works here contributes to the mission, whether they realize it or not.”
An Opportunity for Growth
Pat’s journey with AHFC began in 1998, when he was looking for work with a company that had good benefits and an opportunity for growth. An acquaintance who worked at Alaska Housing told him about a job opening and he was soon hired as a maintenance laborer in Anchorage. Within less than two years he was promoted to maintenance mechanic and then again to lead mechanic.
After a few years he pivoted and took a role in the administrative services department doing contract compliance. But he missed the physical activity and being in the field with a crew so he transferred back to maintenance as a lead mechanic. Three years ago he transferred from that position to take the role at Williwa Manor.
“I’ve worked for a lot of different departments, a lot of different people and bosses throughout the years and it’s really been a good place to work. AHFC supports the employees and they believe in their mission of serving Alaskans. It’s a place I can be proud to work.”
– Pat Cochran, AHFC Maintenance Mechanic
Making a Difference
In his current role, Pat is the go-to person for maintaining Williwa Manor’s seven buildings and 32 total units. From plumbing and carpentry, electrical and heating systems, mowing the grass and shoveling the snow, small renovations and projects around the grounds, he’s the guy. And when situations arise he has to respond quickly to ensure the safety and well-being of the residents.
“We make a difference in our clients’ lives,” Pat said of his role. “Last winter we had some pretty severe windstorms. We had power outages where the power was out for 14, 16 hours at a time. There are people here on oxygen machines and different monitoring systems and they get a little scared. But I live in the community and I’m only five to 10 minutes away at any given time. Even if I can't get the power up and running, I can show them that there’s a presence here and we’re on it and it’s going to be OK.”
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