"In a regular business, it only comes down to profits. Here, we’re supporting the work of scientists who are conducting research that will make the world better and make patients better."
Ten years ago, Vincent was working for a small plumbing business and searching for a position that would offer more stable benefits for his growing family. A job posting at Weill Cornell Medicine seemed like a great fit, and he was hired as a plumber in the Department of Engineering and Maintenance. Today, Vincent is the Mechanical Supervisor in our newest and most complex facility: the Belfer Research Building. He oversees the plumbing, HVAC, and utilitiy needs throughout the 18-story space that includes state-of-the-art laboratories, a conference center, offices, and more. “In a regular business, it only comes down to profits. Here, we’re supporting the work of scientists who are conducting research that will make the world better and make patients better. Instead of helping someone’s pocket, we’re helping people.”
Engineering and Maintenance has about 180 staff members who provide a range of services at Weill Cornell Medicine’s facilities throughout the city, ranging from system repairs to construction support to housekeeping. Vincent sees the department’s work as crucial not only to the ongoing operations of the institution, but the continued recruitment of quality faculty, staff, and students. “This is a top-notch institution, and if we want to attract top-notch researchers, top-notch doctors, top-notch staff, and top-notch students, we need top-notch facilities.”
The department is also a key part of energy conservation throughout campus, and one of Vincent’s earliest projects was looking for opportunities to conserve power in the Feil Research Building. By making updates to lighting sensors and how HVAC units were programmed, the amount of energy saved every day can power twenty single-family homes. “Our conservation efforts do make a difference here. It’s a difference for the environment and for Weill Cornell, especially when the money we save could be put to better use elsewhere.”
Vincent sees his career as driven by the educational and professional development opportunities he’s found at Weill Cornell. When he was a plumber, he was selected to participate in a supervisor development program through the ILR School of Cornell University, and after completing his classes, he applied for and was promoted to his first management position. He also expanded his technical expertise by taking advantage of the Employee Tuition Reimbursement program for HVAC training.
What would Vincent tell someone considering a career at Weill Cornell Medicine? “It would be a wise decision. There’s so much opportunity for advancement, and I’m an example.”