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Seattle City (spot)Light: Marlin Jackson

Marlin Jackson has been at City Light for twelve years. As the Communications Electrician Crew Chief, he’s located at the North Service Center where he and his team serve the utility’s telecommunications operations. “Our primary responsibility is to make sure that we can facilitate the transfer of information to and from our sites, both local and remote,” Marlin explained. “Some of the ways we interface the technology include an optical multiplexing system, copper cables and touch screen communications.”

A New Jersey native, Marlin settled in Washington state after serving in the Navy. “I served for twenty years and for fourteen of those years, I was stationed in different locations on the East coast. I wanted to try something new,” Marlin shared. “So, I took orders to the USS Abraham Lincoln CVN-72, followed by the Fleet Technical Support Center Pacific. I retired in 2003.” He now lives in Everett where he enjoys access to the Northwest’s beauty, including mountains, lakes and rain forests on the Peninsula.

In this week’s (spot)Light, Marlin talks about his hobbies and his work at City Light.

Marlin Jackson

“Over the course of my career and during my time in the Navy, I attended many vocational schools. I studied things like closd circuit television, telephone systems, broadcast televisions and more. As you can see, the common thread is electronics. Although technology has made much of that training obsolete (for example, no more analog), it cemented the fundamentals to this day. Before retiring, I passed my certification for my Federal Communications License and completed my degree in applied science from Excelsior University.”

“One of my favorite hobbies is motorcycle riding. I was a late bloomer to it but it’s something I can only describe as ‘transformational.’ When you ride, all your senses are alive. I feel that it allows you to truly experience the roads instead of simply driving from ‘Point A to Point B’.”

“The challenge of learning the job is what attracted me to City Light. Even with my background and training, I was amazed at the equipment that’s used here. I was familiar with some of it, but there were some items I had never seen. Once I was hired, I immersed myself in the role. In many aspects, it was a little overwhelming at times, but not impossible.  I believed then as I do now, that if you truly apply yourself to learning and improving, there isn’t anything you can’t accomplish.”

“I like City Light because of the people who work here. I also like the challenge of being part of an evolving business. Responsibility increases, training never stops, and accountability is always present. And with the work that we do, there is an ongoing satisfaction of a job well done. This is an industry where we must always practice safety to ensure that everyone gets home to their love ones. To me, each of these elements represent a continued drive for excellence.”