EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT ON AL SALINAS
Doing what he does best -- for Caltrans!
On March 20, 2007, Al Salinas, Transportation Engineer, Civil, will celebrate 27 years of Caltrans state service. After working on rotation for several years during the early part of his career in Design A, Construction, Traffic Design and Structures, he settled in for a long stint as a permit inspector, and he has remained there for the past 17 years.
As a permit engineer/inspector, his typical day starts with a review of plans received by various local agencies, developers and/or utility companies who have requested a permit to perform certain work, functions or special events on State right of way. Salinas contacts these agencies or companies and meets with their representatives to discuss their request and assist them with the review process. When the permit is finally issued, he also inspects the work. His office is located in Valencia in the northern region of Los Angles County, and very often he works in the field as well.
Permit Supervisor, Amon “Omid” Omidghaemi said of Salinas, “Al is a conscientious, hard working, knowledgeable, bright and alert inspector who knows what he is doing. He cares for and protects our highways like his own back yard!”
Sometimes, Salinas explained, the permit request involves new city or county roads or new developments that connect to existing state highways -- or even major improvements on State highways. “There is a lot of satisfaction in my position because I actually see these new developments and projects from their inception on paper to reality,” said Salinas. “This is very important and rewarding to me.”
Also as part of the permit process, Salinas reviews and approves a wide variety of special-event permits. Some of them include the Los Angeles Marathon, the Rose Parade, the Santa Clarita Marathon (which he helped to coordinate), the Hollywood Christmas Parade, the Academy Awards (Oscars) and other major events. “To achieve the level of responsibility that is entrusted to him, I must say that nothing stops him,” added Omidghaemi. “He’s on top of it all!”
When he’s not busy at work, Salinas likes to spend time with his wife, Ingrid and his two children, Brittany and Brandon. And if there is any time left, he will be found on the golf course with friends. “As a matter of fact,” Salinas explained, “my former boss got me started playing golf and I have enjoyed it ever since.” He also assists with logistics for a major golf tournament at the Valencia Golf Course as part of his job. “The game of golf is something I really enjoy; it’s not just playing the game, but the time I spend with my friends as well,” he added.
Salinas also said that he feels very grateful to be part of the Caltrans team. “Caltrans has been very good to me,” he explained. “It has been a twenty-seven year career. It seems like a long time, but I have enjoyed every year. What I see in my future is to keep doing what I do best in the office and in the field – and whatever is best for Caltrans.”