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Backflows Propel Plumber Forward

Carey Wilson wins second place in the President's Classified Employee of the Year program. Read about the opportunities UNLV has given him.
People  |  Aug 2, 2012  |  By Diane Russell
Carey Wilson (R. Marsh Starks/UNLV Photo Services)

Carey Wilson
Plumber II
Facilities Maintenance Services
Rebel Since: 1990

What you do: I work on the backflows. They prevent "used water" from backing up into the potable water. There are 350 backflows on campus. Between the backflows, fire hydrants, fire sprinklers, and grease traps, there is more than enough work to do.

What brought you to UNLV: I was working at a Unocal gas station and I did a smog test for a guy who worked at UNLV in the grounds department. I wanted a better job with good benefits, so I started talking to him about UNLV. Eventually I was hired by the landscape and grounds department.

Tip for new employees: Have a good attitude toward their jobs and work on bettering themselves. I've learned a lot since I've been here and have earned several licenses, like the one I need for the backflow prevention work. My supervisors and the university have been very supportive, paying for the classes I needed as well as the licenses. Among the licenses I've earned are fire licenses for portable fire extinguishers, fire alarm systems, automatic fire sprinkler systems, and private fire hydrants.

People would be surprised to learn: I love to play the guitar, both acoustic and electric. Just picking up my guitar relaxes me. Classic rock is what I play the most.

Perfect day off: Spending time with my wife. Maybe go shopping.

Dream vacation: I would like to go to New York. I've been to California and Hawaii, but I've never seen New York City. I want to see everything -- the Empire State Building, Coney Island.

What People Nominating Him for the Award Had to Say

In the nomination form, Karl Reynolds, director of facilities maintenance, wrote:

"Carey has all of the attributes that have gained the respect of his peers, supervisors, and customers. Carey is one of the most consistently positive, friendly, and courteous people I have ever had the pleasure of working with.

"Carey joined UNLV in 1990 as a grounds maintenance worker. Because of his hard work, thirst for knowledge, and dedication to UNLV, he was promoted on no less than six occasions. He obtained many specialized certifications increasing his value to employer.

"Carey is an outstanding employee every day. He is consistently a great asset to the university."