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Alan Reed Carries His WVU Tech Education to the Department of Highways

WV DOH State Engineer Alan Reed pose for a photograph in his officeWVDOH State Engineer Alan Reed

After dropping out of high school and obtaining his GED, Beckley, West Virginia native Alan Reed moved into the workforce, where he began working road construction and mining industry jobs. Alan was great at his work, but he knew there was more that he had to offer, and his interest in engineering was piqued after watching the engineers on the jobs where he was working. After taking night classes at the former Beckley College (now home to WVU Tech’s Beckley campus), he made the decision to enroll full time at WVU Tech as a civil engineering major.

Alan was 32 at the time, a nontraditional student. The class work was hard, and there were times, especially during his second year, that challenged him. But he persevered and graduated with his civil engineering degree in 1996.

During his summers as a student, he took a job with the West Virginia Department of Highways co-op program. This opened the door for him to continue his work with the WVDOH after he graduated. He has moved up the ranks since, working first in special projects before moving to a role as Staff Engineer. From there he was promoted to Maintenance Engineer. Alan is now the State Highway Engineer, overseeing 5,000 employees and some 30,000 miles of highway.

Alan points to his time at WVU Tech as a cornerstone to his success in the field.

I could have gotten my degree from Tech or WVU. Well, I was a Tech guy. I felt like Tech was a good school and had prestige,” said Alan. “I’ve been around a lot of people in the mining and construction industries, and those higher-level people will tell you, ‘If we have the opportunity to hire a Tech Grad, we will.’”

“That’s when we get good people, when we get Tech Grads,” he said.