Meet Our Team!
A First Responder's Career Funded by the City of Grand Junction
The City of Grand Junction continues to invest in the professional development of its employees. In addition to the generous benefit package and numerous other resources, the City also assists in paying for training and certifications for employees who are looking to enhance and expand their skill sets. Grand Junction Firefighter & Paramedic, Bronwyn Stevens, is proof of the City’s commitment to its employees. Over the course of the last three and a half years, Stevens has obtained her Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) certification, completed the Fire Academy, and just recently finished paramedic school – all of which were funded by the City of Grand Junction.
Stevens first heard about an EMT recruit position at the City of Grand Junction when she was living in Fresno, California attending California State University, where she also competed on the softball team. She had just obtained her bachelor’s degree in exercise science and was considering her next steps when her brother, who lives in Grand Junction, told her about the City’s job listing.
Grand Junction's Water Awarded Best in the U.S.
When it comes to water quality, Grand Junction has the best in the country. Grand Junction recently took home second place in the American Water Works Association’s Best of the Best Water Taste Test Competition, held in Toronto, Canada. Trained water flavor profilers scrutinized the entries during a blind taste test akin to wine tasting. More than two dozen winners of regional competitions competed for the coveted award. The competition's first-place winner was the City of Miramichi in New Brunswick, Canada. “Which means we won first place in the United States,” said Randi Kim, the utilities director for the City of Grand Junction.
Kim has overseen the City of Grand Junction's water and wastewater systems for nearly six years. In fall 2022, some of the staff in the water division entered water samples into a regional contest. “We were part of the Rocky Mountain section, and we got first place for our region, which qualified us for the North American competition in Toronto,” she said. “It was the first time we had ever entered, and the first time was the charm.”
Mobility Planner Making Grand Junction Safe and Easy to Navigate on Two Wheels
The City of Grand Junction continues to lead the way in strategic planning and responsible scalability. In doing so, the City has hired personnel to assist in achieving these goals, including hiring a new mobility planner, Henry Brown. One of Brown’s goals is to make residents and guests safer while practicing sustainable travel around Grand Junction.
In January of 2023, Brown accepted the position and moved from Cincinnati to Grand Junction. While he wasn’t familiar with the Grand Junction area, he was drawn to the easy access to fantastic skiing, hiking and camping. He was also impressed by the dynamic dining, arts and culture scene in Grand Junction, including the symphony orchestra.
From a career perspective, Brown was intrigued by the level of thoughtfulness that has gone into making Grand Junction a place that’s safe and easy to navigate. “It meant I wouldn’t be starting from scratch in my new role. It speaks to the livability of the area. The City’s dedication to making the area an even better place to live, work, and play was very compelling,” he said.
A Rewarding Career with the Grand Junction Fire Department
Becoming a firefighter is no easy task. It requires grueling work, long hours, teamwork and a desire to help others. The Grand Junction Fire Department (GJFD) represents all of these qualities and constantly trains for a variety of emergencies. These first responders are equipped with rope rescue training, fire suppression, and emergency medical care. Because of these caring and well-trained individuals, the City of Grand Junction residents have some of the most qualified professionals providing emergency care during unexpected and stressful situations.
For Grand Junction firefighter paramedic Zach Leyda, taking care of people is a privilege and a big part of what drives him. Seeing people survive and thrive, thanks to the quick care provided by Grand Junction’s first responders, is even more rewarding. One emergency involved a woman whose heart stopped while she was spending time with her family.
Keeping Grand Junction Beautiful
When spring temperatures begin to rise, the City of Grand Junction Parks & Recreation Department’s Horticulture Division sees the fruit of their labor bloom. Each year the City makes a concerted effort to increase the number of flowers and other plants grown in the City’s greenhouse. In 2022, the horticulture team grew around 10,000 flowers and plants, which adorned City parks and Downtown Main Street. This year they are aiming much higher.
Tim Wilkerson and the horticulture team work year-round to bring color to the community with vivid displays of vibrant flowers. “So far, the City plans to grow an astonishing 5,769 plants from purchased liners, 36,133 plants from seed and 3,500 plants from cuttings,” Wilkerson said. “We are shooting to grow 45,402 plants for installation in 2023,” he said. “This number does not include the several thousand shrubs we purchase each year.” This season, they’ve already planted 4,000 pansies at City Hall and around Grand Junction.
City of Grand Junction's Sustainability Coordinator Helps the City "Go Green"
The City of Grand Junction’s commitment to sustainable practices is evident in a variety of programs, including new community initiatives and an internal task force that gives employees the chance to get involved. Sustainability is more than a catchphrase for the City of Grand Junction, and it is evident through the City’s commitment to recycling, composting, and electric vehicle preparedness.
Jenny Nitzky is the City’s sustainability coordinator, a new city position created in 2022. When Nitzky joined the team in August of 2022, one of her priorities was to create a Sustainability Action Team, with members from every department. The group works together on sustainability-focused goals, within city operations, and launched its first project in March 2023 - alternative transportation. “The team acquired a bike fleet purchased from a local bike shop, Brown Cycles. The purpose of the bikes is to be used by City staff to help reduce vehicle trips when traveling to different sites for meetings,” Nitzky said. The group also conducted a recycling and composting survey to identify the needs of staff across city departments.
City of Grand Junction Firefighter Enjoys Making a Difference
Becoming a full-time firefighter takes discipline and perseverance. From the competitive nature of the industry to the challenging training and life-threatening risks, there are many factors involved in a firefighter career. Grand Junction currently has 7 fire stations across the city, with the most recent station built in January of 2023.
For those looking to enter firefighting as a career, Grand Junction offers excellent benefits and opportunities. Jonathan Johnson, who has worked for the Grand Junction Fire Department for a year and a half, has seen that growth firsthand. “The City has built a new station every year for the past few years,” Johnson said.
“It can be a competitive career field, but it’s a good time to be in the Grand Junction area and want to be a firefighter because the department is growing,” said Dirk Clingman, who works in Community Outreach for the Grand Junction Fire Department.
Meaningful Projects and Relationship-Focused Work Culture Keep Employees at the City of Grand Junction
As recently retired Scott Peterson drives around Grand Junction, the memories of his rewarding career with the City of Grand Junction come flooding in. Peterson recently retired after two decades of working in the Community Development Department. He started as an associate planner and worked his way up to senior planner.
While working as a planner for the City, there have been many developments that Peterson helped bring to fruition. From large commercial projects to new subdivisions, these memories serve as warm reminders of the meaningful impact his career with the City of Grand Junction had on the place he calls home.
9-1-1 Dispatcher Enjoys Helping Others in Their Time of Need
The City of Grand Junction operates a 24-hour, 365-day emergency communications operation at the Grand Junction Regional Communication Center (GJRCC). GJRCC provides an emergency service hub for 26 public safety agencies in Mesa County including the Grand Junction Police Department and the Grand Junction Fire Department – both of which are departments of the City of Grand Junction. With 43 emergency communication specialists and eight supervisors, GJRCC dispatches calls and texts to 12 law enforcement entities and 14 fire/EMS (emergency medical services) entities. Whether a call comes in through 911 or through a non-emergency number, the City of Grand Junction ensures it will be dispatched to the appropriate first responder by GJRCC’s emergency communications crew.
As an emergency communications specialist for the City of Grand Junction, Kylee Hawkins has helped thousands of people during the three years she’s been in her position. However, there is one call that stands out in her mind. One day she received a call stating that an older gentleman had collapsed outside during a family barbecue. He seemed to have suffered a heart attack. “It was quite a chaotic call,” Hawkins said. Mostly because a lot of the gentleman’s family members were there at the time of the incident and they were panicking. “We worked on CPR for a few minutes,” she said. “It didn’t take long for EMS to arrive. They continued to perform CPR on him for a few minutes before transporting him to the emergency room. Thankfully, the gentleman lived and was able to recover.”
Sustainability is Top of Mind for City of Grand Junction
The City of Grand Junction purchased Curbside Recycling Indefinitely (CRI) center in the spring of 2022. Both the center and the new city employees have grown.
Sustainability has been a consistent priority for the City of Grand Junction. In February 2022, the City solidified its commitment when it purchased CRI.
Jennifer Redmond was an apprentice equipment operator that worked for CRI for four years. After City ownership, Jennifer and CRI staff became employees of the City of Grand Junction. Jennifer is excited and is incredibly pleased with how the recycling center is growing. "Now that the City owns the recycling center, we have the resources to grow and build bigger," Jennifer said. The City began a food compost pilot program in October 2022 and plans to add a new seasonal green waste recycling program for grass clippings in the spring of 2023. Additionally, the City will roll out a new pilot program for dual-stream automated recycling collection in March of 2023, which will allow for six times the amount of recycling to be picked up on a daily basis.
Passionate New Arts & Culture Coordinator Boosts Grand Junction's Art Scene
The City of Grand Junction has been a strong advocate for showcasing and promoting art within the community for decades. With over 115 outdoor sculptures and murals that frame the sidewalks in Downtown Grand Junction, to a variety of art pieces throughout the city parks, Grand Junction’s robust art scene is alive and thriving.
Art and culture was initially what attracted Marlene Godsey and her husband to Grand Junction. After researching places to relocate their family of three, moving to Grand Junction was the top choice because of the college-town feel and the natural beauty of the area.
Due to a delayed flight on their first time visiting Grand Junction, Marlene and her family were only able to spend around 24 hours in the area, but that was all the time they needed to solidify their decision. “We were so tired when we first arrived in Grand Junction that we slept half the day and we were only able to go out to dinner,” she said. “But we thought the mountains were gorgeous and we loved the high desert environment.”
Planning Supervisor Sees How His Work Directly Impacts His Home
One of the many benefits of working for the City of Grand Junction is the opportunity to make a positive impact within your own hometown. City Planning supervisor, Felix Landry, has lived and worked in Grand Junction for less than a year and a half and he has already seen the positive outcomes that come with working for the City. After working as a private consultant for several years, Landry’s motivation to work for the City of Grand Junction was the ability to see the results of his work within his own community.
“Living in the city that you work for allows you to see how your efforts directly impact the place you live,” Felix shared. “You get to know the city really well.”
Felix and his wife both moved from Texas to Grand Junction in May of 2021 with their young daughter and two sons. After deciding they were ready for a change, they began exploring possible locations to relocate to, and Grand Junction came out on top.
City of Grand Junction's Parental Leave Program
Life does not get more real and special than having a newborn arrive home. The very first yawn, smile, stretch, giggle, crawl, and the first evening where the baby has slept through the night – every moment is significant, memorable, and monumental. It’s hard to imagine missing any of these moments, yet when balancing a career, it’s a daily reminder that returning to work means just that.
While societal recognition about the importance of parental leave from work has grown, the City of Grand Junction’s family leave program is particularly generous. The program allows up to 12 weeks of paid leave to both mothers and fathers of a newborn or newly adopted or fostered children and is available to full-time employees in all departments.
Kevin Keane, the City of Grand Junction’s Recruitment Marketer, was recently able to benefit from the City’s leave program after his son was born in March 2022.
“To have three months with my son allowed me to get to know him, to bond with him, and to learn about parenting. I was able to help my wife and tag-team so we could figure things out together,” he shared.
Full-time Career Could Start with a Part-time Job
A full-time position at the City of Grand Junction may not be far from reach, even if it begins with a part-time position, according to Jeff Anderson, the Facilities Supervisor for the City. Jeff would know, having worked his way from a part-time job to his current position.
Jeff started at the City right out of high school, working in the cemeteries the City of Grand Junction manages. His first job was a seasonal position in 2002. This led to another seasonal position, which was followed by a 30-hour per week position. Jeff then accepted a full-time position in 2008. Along the way, he took advantage of the many educational opportunities the city offered as he steadily advanced his career.
“I didn’t have any formal education, but the City gives so many opportunities for professional development for whatever field or trade you’re going for,” he said. “They offer leadership classes such as Colorado State University Extension’s master gardener class. If you’re willing to take it seriously and invest your time, then the City is willing to invest in you. There are a lot more professional opportunities than people realize, and the City of Grand Junction helps people to take advantage of those opportunities.”
A Newcomer's Guide to Grand Junction
In Grand Junction, we’re on the move and growing, both in population and, not surprisingly, in new jobs at the City of Grand Junction to serve our growing population. If you’re seeking a new and exciting challenge or looking to relocate, consider Grand Junction and a career with the City. We interviewed four newcomers who happily shared what they learned about moving to Grand Junction and working for the City. They even shared some helpful tips to assist others who are contemplating relocating to the Grand Junction area.
We asked questions about moving to Grand Junction, from the practical to the enjoyable. While they share some common views like their love for Grand Junction’s plethora of outdoor recreation, they also have unique insights and experiences.
City Forester Creates New Community Open Spaces and Enjoys His Own
Rob Davis, the City of Grand Junction Forester & Open Space supervisor, has spent more than two decades advocating for trees. Since 2000, Rob has worked in a city forester role for five Colorado cities, including Greeley, Windsor, Westminster, Denver, and now, Grand Junction. After working as the city forester for the City and County of Denver for nine years, Rob decided it was time for a change.
While he enjoyed what he was doing for the city of Denver, he didn’t love working in downtown Denver and fighting traffic on his lengthy commute. He jumped at the chance to move his family of five to the Grand Junction area.
Relocating for a Job in Grand Junction was the Perfect Choice for this Police Officer and His Young Family
Relocating for a job can be intimidating. Especially with the changes looming over your head such as: finding housing, choosing schools if you have kids, making new friends, and the elevated anxiety that comes with any professional transition – it is overwhelming. However, for City of Grand Junction Police Officer Justin Trejo, the process was seamless (perhaps even serendipitous), and now, two years later, his family is thrilled with their decision and the life they have built in Grand Junction.
“Everything fell into place,” said Justin, who is a school resource officer with the Grand Junction Police Department.
Justin, his wife, and their two young children had been living in San Diego, California where he was a probation officer, but they were ready to relocate to find a better quality of life. Their top choice was Grand Junction, Colorado. When a job opened at the Grand Junction Police Department in late 2019, Justin said he “jumped at the opportunity.”
College Internship Leads to Full-time Position for CMU Graduate
Grand Junction native, Stevie Oviatt, started her career working a paid internship with the City of Grand Junction and was later hired into a full-time position– all while finishing her degree at Colorado Mesa University (CMU). Stevie couldn’t be happier with how her career has progressed and the opportunities the City of Grand Junction has given her.
“I had met the staff at a couple of hiring events. I really enjoyed talking with them and meeting the accounting team, so I decided to interview.”
Stevie’s transition from internship to a full-time position was accelerated when a position opened up shortly after she began in the City’s Accounting & Finance department.
Grand Junction Jobs Are Growing – and Offer a Chance To Grow
For job seekers looking for Grand Junction employment opportunities that offer a wealth of benefits, opportunities for career advancement, a supportive work environment with a focus on continuous learning, and the chance to make a difference in the community - the City of Grand Junction is worth considering when searching for a job or career. The City is expanding its workforce with more than 50 new positions in 2022, in addition to hiring for existing positions like Emergency Communications Specialists and Police Officers.
A significant number of full-time positions are in Public Safety, Community Development, Finance, Information Technologies, Public Works, and Utility departments. With 13 different departments and positions ranging from entry-level to executive and seasonal to full-time, the City of Grand Junction offers diverse opportunities for job seekers in a variety of fields.