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  • Writer's pictureSTAFF

Tara Doratt, Woman in Construction

“Being in quality control, there isn’t a typical day,” explains Tara Doratt, Quality Inspector at MODLOGIQ. “You’re drawn to what needs attention.”

As a recent hire at MODLOGIQ, Tara is training with Joe McLauchlan, Quality Control Manager. “Some days, we’re circulating through the plant looking for trouble spots,” she says. “Other days, we’ll go out and do planned inspections, like pressure tests on pipes. We have two large projects in progress, UMBC [University of Maryland, Baltimore County Health Services and Counseling Building] and Cherokee Lane [Elementary School]. Those are keeping us busy making sure things are being done right and according to the build plan. We are checking processes—are things being done the right way?—and results—was this welded correctly, built correctly, placed correct, assembled correctly?”

With a nod to “Women in Construction Week,” Tara explains the huge role the construction industry has played in her life and her family’s life. “My dad has worked in construction since he was 14,” she recalls. “Growing up, my brothers got to go to job sites and see what it was like. As the youngest and a girl, I didn’t always get those chances. But now, what I’m doing is a dream come true!”

Tara hopes other women will take the opportunity to check out the construction industry. “I had some concerns about entering a male-dominated industry,” she acknowledges. “But what I like most about MODLOGIQ is the atmosphere. Everyone has been extremely welcoming and kind, even though I’m the person looking over their shoulder!”

Tara brings a diverse background to her inspection work. “I started out as a quality inspector at an aeronautics company,” she recounts. “That was very structured, very detailed. You don’t have room for error when it comes to an aircraft that’s flying 10,000 feet in the air. It was a great learning experience. Then I moved to a manufacturing operation in Coatesville. Quality was still important, but things weren’t so structured, so detailed. You could ‘eyeball’ some of the work. Now that I’m at MODLOGIQ, those two backgrounds give me a good standard for understanding when to be structured and detailed and when things can safely be “eyeballed” to meet the standard and the spec.”

Although she’s a relative newcomer to MODLOGIQ, Tara has already internalized the advantages of SMART OFF-SITE CONSTRUCTION (Schedule Acceleration, Cost Certainty, Superior Quality, and Least Site Impact). “Quality control directly affects all of those,” she points out. “It’s me double checking to make sure everything is up to spec, that we are following the right processes. The earlier we can catch a potential mistake, the better for everyone. If we can prevent something from becoming a repair, we save time and money. That avoids the waterfall effect. That’s when a problem doesn’t get caught until late, when it’s the most expensive to address in terms of cost and schedule.”

But focusing on superior quality does more than just prevent errors. “By making sure everything is where it should be and how it should be, we make assembly at the job site faster and smoother,” she says. “The modules go together quickly and cleanly. And when installation goes smoothly, that speeds up the schedule and avoids costly delays. Also, that means we’re on site for the least amount of time, which reduces the impact.”

Tara sums up her approach to quality control. “The most important thing is being nosy,” she laughs. “That may sound odd at first, but If you ask people what they’re doing and why they’re doing it, you can understand the details better. You get a better appreciation of what it takes to deliver the quality we’re all looking for.”


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