Occupational Safety and Health student takes charge in Yuma

Before he accepted a job in Yuma, on the western edge of Arizona and California, Andy Klakulak barely knew where it was.

Student Profile: Andy Klakulak, OSHA Training Institute Education Center

Now, some six years later, he’s pleased with both his job and his residence.

As manager of the survey department at Nicklaus Engineering, Inc., in Yuma, he’s in charge of the firm’s many civil engineering projects, which means the roadways, buildings, and canals that serve the city of 95,000 residents.

Three years ago, he earned his “Professional Certificate in Occupational Safety and Health” at UC San Diego’s OSHA Training Institute Education Training Center in Mission Valley.

“It makes me more valuable on the job,” he said. “I learned a lot I didn’t know before, that’s for sure.”

He also completed EM 385-1-1, a 40-hour OSHA course regarded as the “gold standard” of health and safety requirements for construction work performed for the federal government, specifically military projects.

“After work, there’s not a lot to do here,” he said. “But the nice thing is, we’re two hours from places like San Diego, Julian, Sedona, and Phoenix. So we have plenty of places to go on weekends.”

Originally from Toledo, Ohio, where he was an engineering consultant in his home state, Klakulak graduated from University of Toledo with a geology degree. He’s an avid camper, hiker and cross-country skier.

As for comparing Toledo to Yuma: “They both have lots of positives, but they couldn’t be more different,” he said. “I know this: Yuma has the best Mexican food on the planet.”

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