My Story: Troy Bridges, CHST
I have been a safety professional for over 20 years now. It’s pretty crazy when you think about it – to work in the same profession for such a long time. Growing up, I always wanted to be a teacher, and as crazy as it sounds, I wanted to teach junior high school. I always enjoyed the interactions and sharing of information with others. As I got older, I realized that I was more aligned with and passionate about the adult learner. I felt that I always had something to say and was always looking to learn from other people’s experiences.
For a long time, I was on the 20-year degree program, didn’t have a clear direction and wasn’t sure on what I wanted to focus my studies. I happened to notice a bulletin in the hallway at school one day highlighting the environmental science and occupational health program. It sounded interesting and I decided to enroll in some classes. A few years later I graduated from Trident Technical College in Charleston, SC, and received my associate degree. During my last semester in that program, I was introduced to the hybrid program offered through Southern Illinois University (a satellite campus located in Charleston) in workforce education and training. It was a yearlong program that included weekend and self-study options that fit my busy work-life schedule. A year later, I graduated with my bachelor’s degree.
Both degrees offered me the option and ability to focus my efforts either in the environmental and occupational safety field or the human resources field. I pursued my career in health and safety and have not looked back since.
Throughout my career I have worked for a variety of industries, including industrial wastewater treatment, construction, telecommunications, safety equipment and sales, workers’ compensation and insurance, and consulting.
I am partial to the construction industry, as I find it extremely satisfying being part of a team of individuals that contributes to the advancement and development of the city I live in, and I have seen and experienced some pretty cool stuff. I am still a kid at heart, but now get to “play” with bigger Tonka toys and equipment.
I have found a profession in which I can make a difference in people’s lives and continue to pursue my passion for training and education. Throughout the years I have focused a lot of my time in education and have worked as an independent contractor and adjunct instructor.
I have since earned my master’s in organizational leadership with an emphasis in instructional design and training from Colorado State University – Global Campus and continued to enhance my professional development by earning my Construction Health and Safety Technician certification through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals.
Troy Bridges, CHST