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Meet: Lorenzo Salcedo

Temporary Technician
Ames Research Center

photo of Lorenzo Salcedo

What I do:

I am what is called a temporary technician, but I've been here for two years. Here I've been certified to do almost everything: the frame, the forklift, soldering. I've had food training. ISO-9000 has a procedure, and we're trained for that. If you're not certified, you cannot touch anything!

Most recently I have been assigned to work on the flight hardware, assembling and testing parts of the rodent habitats.

My Career Journey

I was born in the Philippines. Before coming to the U.S. I worked for five years in Saudi Arabia. They gave us free food, free housing, no tax. Everytime you bought anything, there was no tax. I didn't want to leave, but my mom petitioned me to come to the United States. It was 1984 and she was here, because my grandfather was in the U.S. Army. She did all the paperwork to get me here. After that, I sent my passport to my mom, and she kept it because she doesn't want me to go back there!

I worked for an electrical company for 6 years, and then they moved to another state. At that point a friend told me they were hiring here [at NASA], and so I went to the agency, had an interview, and started to work here. This coming March [1998] I have two years here as a temp!

Preparation for Career

When I first arrived here I went to adult education in electrical work, carpentry, plumbing, installing circuit breakers. My work before this was in construction, doing all that kind of thing here in the bay area. I got tired of doing all that driving.

I also went to Laney College to learn phlebotomy [how to draw blood for diagnosis] for one year. I got certified, but when I applied at hospitals for a job, they would say, "But you have no experience." So I would say, "How can I get experience if you don't give me a job?"

Likes/Dislikes about career

I like the electrical jobs I do here. I don't want to stay too long doing the assembly work for the animal habitats. I've been working these, because nobody else likes to work with the cages and the waste trays. So I told my supervisor, "I'll do it!." I've asked to be assigned back to work on the electrical. We used to have three people here before, but now there are less funds, so I'm still doing the flight hardware.

Personal Information

My hobby is ballroom dancing. I do that every Saturday and Friday night. On Tuesday, I go here in the officer's club. They have a lesson for one hour.

I have a son aged 8. I live close to him, and I pick him up every day from school and help him with his assignments. If he has sports activities in the school, he wants me to go with him. I enjoy it. I'm teaching him about basketball and soccer on Saturdays.


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