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EdgeConneX Salutes 2022: Jeremy Dillard

November 1, 2022

What is EdgeConneX Salutes 2022?

As part of our continuing mission of honoring and recognizing our amazing veteran employees, EdgeConneX, in partnership with Salute Mission Critical, launched EdgeConneX Salutes 2022. As a longtime partner of EdgeConneX, Salute uniquely addresses our critical infrastructure facility management needs. Salute’s skilled veteran labor force works alongside our EdgeConneX teams, which include dedicated and hard-working veterans like Jeremy Dillard. We are proud to share Jeremy’s experience with you. Please read his Q&A below to learn more.

Jeremy Dillard, Critical Systems Engineer at EdgeConneX and an Army veteran, was interviewed to learn more about his background and his experience in transitioning into a civilian role within the data center industry. Jeremy also shared his hobbies and interests with us.

Check out Jeremy’s Top Tips for veterans in this video chat with Lee Kirby, Chairman and Co-founder of Salute Mission Critical.

What are your job responsibilities now?

I am part of a new group at EdgeConneX within operations and work with NOC technicians and data center field operations. We ensure the UPS, generators and CRAC units in our data centers are maintained properly and operational. If any problems arise, we correct them promptly. I also work with the EdgeConneX vendors’ team to ensure efficiency; and PUE and monitoring support of mission-critical systems.

What geo are you in now?

Katy, Texas

Tell me about your background/why did you enter the military?

I spent four years in the military. I was a radio telephone operator – single channel radio operator and paratrooper for the Army. My main job was to set up communications operations for every deployment. My last role in the military was as a training NCO. I had to make sure all the soldiers passed a PT test every 6 months.

How did the military prepare you for the job/role/career you are in now?

The military taught me never to quit, and that mentality has helped me all throughout my career.

How was your experience transitioning from the military to the civilian workplace?

After serving in the Army for four years, I was scheduled to be released from the Army in July 2000. I came home for Christmas in December ’99 and thought carefully about what I wanted to do after the Army.

My brother and Dad were union electricians. I knew that had been a great career path for them. So, I decided to join a union apprenticeship program. The GI Bill allowed me to go to a trade school or apprenticeship program. I worked as an apprentice and then in 2006, graduated as an electrician journeyman and was top of my class. I installed electrical systems for critical facilities (hospitals, data centers, etc.).

I eventually went to Lone Star College and earned my Associate degree. I had enough training and work hours to take the Master Electrician’s test and successfully passed. I landed a job as a facility engineer for a data center company located in downtown Houston. The COO of the company said I was one of the best hires he has had.

Throughout my career, my drive and core values of not accepting mediocrity and going above and beyond are directly due to the military. “We fail sometimes – and it’s how you overcome those failures that is how you learn.”

In 2014, I became a facility engineer. The company I was working for at the time was bought and I stayed and through that role became a customer of EdgeConneX. That is how I met my current manager at EdgeConneX who onboarded me into the department I am in currently.

My military background definitely taught me to be open, to be ready to seize the moment. I also credit my work ethic to my parents who set a wonderful example for me.

What does EdgeConneX culture of Customers, People, Planet mean to you?

In Texas, we love the outdoors. We want to leave the resources for the next generation. Working for EdgeConneX, which truly loves the planet and wants to leave the planet for future generations, is great. Within the Operations department, we support the data center in helping to maintain the equipment to the point that if we were to face a hurricane, for example, our customers shouldn’t have to worry – as we are always prepared. Knowing we have a group within our organization that has the knowledge to keep a facility up and running ‘completes the mission.’

Throughout my career, EdgeConneX is by far the best company I have worked for. The team takes care of its employees and supports veterans – and truly sees the value of what veterans can bring into the organization. They go above and beyond any company I have ever worked for.

“It is an honor to have served our beloved Country, work at EdgeConneX, and to have been considered for the ‘celebrating veterans’ campaign. To pay it forward, I am always here to help and guide others as they make the next step in their career.”

What are your hobbies/interests?

I enjoy hunting, fishing, the outdoors and sports (especially football).

Top tips for others making the same type of transition? I wish I had known…

I worked my way up and so can you. There are many opportunities out there and there are programs that will help you. EdgeConneX in partnership with Salute has helped a lot of veterans. I didn’t know much about data centers early in my military career. People don’t talk about the career opportunities of working for data centers enough. We need to get the word out more. You can work for Salute Mission Critical and be a technician, there are also many VA and educational benefits – pursue them! And, most of all – always be willing to learn!

How can our readers follow you online?

Readers can follow me on LinkedIn.

To learn more, watch Jeremy’s video interview with Lee Kirby, Chairman and Co-Founder of Salute Mission Critical:

Keep an eye on EdgeConneX career openings HERE.  

If you are a veteran or military spouse looking for an exciting career in a growing industry, please contact Salute Mission Critical. The team can help train and put you on the path to success.