Making Life Easier Behind the Scenes
Published September 20, 2022
Shipbuilder Shavonda Eure (O45), a facilities planner, can provide the long version of her job at Newport News Shipbuilding, which improves the everyday lives of employees in ways seen and unseen.
She can also give you the short version of what she does. “I do everything nobody wants to do,” she says with a laugh.
Eure oversees 100% of waste removal at NNS, whether it be trash, scrap metals or dealing with the 134 portable toilets along the waterfront. With more than 70 contracted personnel under her direction, she handles the outside janitorial services, two major landfill contracts, oily waste landfill contract, dry dock cleanings and the janitorial vendor for the entire shipyard.
She also handles the landscaping (inside and outside the gates) and snow removal for the sidewalks and parking lots, including parking lots leased by the Navy.
“She is quite literally an army of one in a world of growing demands,” said Paula McElroy, Facilities and Real Estate manager.
Eure started at NNS in 2008 as an X31 apprentice. Five years later, she landed in O45 and has been there since. “It was customer service, and it fit my personality,” she said. “I really love to help people.”
McElroy added: “O45 is a special group of people, dedicated to customer service and unafraid of the hard stuff. Shavonda is a natural fit for this team.”
As someone who enjoys being busy and describes herself as a “servant leader type,” Eure is more comfortable being out on the waterfront than behind a desk. She works on improving her contractors’ efficiency.
“We have a lot to do,” she said. “I’m boots on the ground, no matter how big or small the problem is,” she said.
She has to stay ahead of the game. For example, if a winter storm is brewing, she watches the weather to get a jump on snow removal.
When the shipyard receives visitors or welcomes a crowd to a keel laying or christening she, along with her co-partner Michele Affolter (O46), helps ensure that the public path traveled through the shipyard is clear and well maintained.
While other jobs and different responsibilities might be in her professional future, she does not envision herself behind a desk at this moment.
“I really love being hands on,” she said.