Many Nevadans who make a living in mining had their sights set on the industry for some time. Whether their parents, grandparents or friends of the family introduced them to their eventual career, it is often a decision that was a long time coming.
There are, however, plenty of instances where mining comes secondary to, even as a result of, the miner’s primary areas of interest. In this edition of Meet Your Miners, we learn how a career in mining unexpectedly presented itself as the perfect fit for Nancy Gray of General Moly.
Working in the Elko office as the manager of human resources (HR), compensation and benefits for General Moly, Gray not only oversees what the title of her job would indicate, she is also heavily involved in recruitment, staffing, performance management, policy, labor relations, training and budgeting. And while Gray earned her bachelor’s degree in managerial science with an emphasis in HR from the University of Nevada Reno, the mining industry was not her first stop.
“I chose a career in HR because of my strong interest in business, psychology, sociology and organizational development,” said Gray. “My first professional HR position was in gaming. After getting married, I moved to Elko and found equally exciting HR career opportunities in mining.”
Gray feels that her career in HR, especially in Nevada’s mining industry, offers new challenges and opportunities every day, making her work extremely rewarding. Helping managers and employees find solutions to problems and developing new programs and systems that fit the organization’s culture and needs make the job a constant and enjoyable challenge on a personal level. Keeping up with changes to state and federal benefits as well as employment, wage and labor laws also keeps the work interesting, as Gray is constantly learning and applying new knowledge.
In 2010, Gray earned the Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) designation and was recently recertified. She so enjoys her career in mining that she has become involved with various extra-curricular facets of the industry. Active on the Nevada Mining Association’s HR Committee, Gray served as chair for two years. She is currently the chair of the Compensation and Benefits Survey Sub-Committee. In 2013, Gray began serving as co-chair for the Governor’s Workforce Investment Board Mining Sector Council, which is a three-year commitment.
“There is tremendous camaraderie in mining, which I really enjoy,” noted Gray. “Miners genuinely care about one another, their families and their communities. Mining has allowed me to pursue my chosen career path and earn an excellent living at the same time.”
While it may not have been an expected path, Gray’s journey into mining has lasted her more than 25 years in the industry, and she looks forward to many more to come.