Ever wonder how much work goes into placing a single sign on the side of the road? Ever think about how deep into the ground it needs to be placed or how much support it should be given so that it won’t blow over? How large the lettering needs to be so that drivers can read it in a timely fashion? Susan Taylor tackles all of these problems on a daily basis.
Taylor is a traffic technician for the Michigan Department of Transportation (MDOT). She started her work with MDOT in 1968, and was one of the first women to be employed by it as a highway technician.
She had some very interesting experiences as one of the few females in her classes, but she was very determined to complete her training and become a department employee.
She has held a variety of positions throughout her years at MDOT, but currently she is with the traffic and safety division and works in the signing unit. The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) has provided funds to create some traffic signs, which have just been installed throughout Michigan. These are signs that Taylor herself took part in designing. These signs are identify areas where economic stimulus money is being spent to put America back to work.
Taylor’s work also involves the emerald ash borer and restrictions on transporting firewood. These signs are put up on freeways and other roads to inform people of the rules and limitations on the transport of firewood, which is one of the primary ways the Emerald Ash Borer spreads.
To help get through all challenges of an ever-changing job, Taylor has come up with her “five P’s.” These keep her focused on her personal goals, and consist of the following; “be patient, work with purpose, be persistent, pass on what I know, and pray for the MDOT leaders.” With these “five P’s,” Taylor is able to advance her career in a
When not at work, Taylor enjoys spending time with her husband, Bill, and her three children, Julie, Andy and Becky. Although her children are grown, she still finds time to get together with them as often as
Taylor is president of Transpo Club, a charitable, social, community service-based club within MDOT that allows coworkers to get together outside of work and make a difference in the community. In her free time, she enjoys camping up north at Woodlands on The Lake campground in White Cloud, MI, traveling, decorating cakes and scrapbooking.