She’s a critical part of big improvements, like PDXNext, the name we’ve given a series of major construction projects that will make Portland International Airport better for you.
Find out more about the work of Nina Allen, our construction inspector–one of many interesting jobs here at the Port of Portland.
How would you describe your job to a first grader?
I make sure the contractors building something new at PDX build it safely and the way we want it built.
What’s the coolest part of your job?
Helping to build something new that helps make traveling easier and more fun for people. One of my most unique projects was our PDX Communications Center, which serves as our emergency dispatch center, among other roles. It’s unique because it has a specialized fire suppression system and redundant HVAC and electrical systems. The information technology equipment and work stations were a new experience for me. We had to have the entire new facility online, fully tested and commissioned before we could move in the team, because they work 24/7.
What’s one thing about you that would surprise people?
I am the youngest of nine daughters. That is why my name is Nina.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
I wanted to be a rangeland resource manager. I grew up on a mostly sustainable farm. We bought paper products, coffee, sugar and flour. Anything else, we grew in the garden or raised in the fields. My parents taught me the importance of protecting the land and preserving the wild places for the rest of the animals on the planet. I thought that being a rangeland resource manager would allow me to help maintain the balance between human impacts to our planet and the needs of the other species we share it with. Our Port waste-minimization program, environmental goals, and our work on mitigation sites helps me fulfill my need to “save the planet”.
How did you land this job?
I started as an administrative assistant in our engineering department. I decided that the construction inspectors had interesting jobs and started going to night school to study inspection technology and building codes. The Port offered me an opportunity to become an inspector trainee to gain on-the-job experience. I jumped at the chance and never looked back.