Women In Construction Week: Datacia Wesson, Quality Control

“No matter how much you think you know, there’s always room for improvement. I learn something new every day.” – Datacia “Muffin” Wesson, Quality Control Technician I

Datacia Wesson’s drive to learn is what drew her to Quality Control. She started in solar as a PV installer with Hard Hats, a temp agency that referred employees to Horne Brothers Construction, and jumped at the opportunity to work for HBC when a position in Quality Control opened up.

“I’ve always wanted to understand why and how things work. That’s part of good quality control— not just understanding the ‘what’ but also the ‘why,’” says Datacia, known as Muffin to most.

As a Quality Control Technician I, Muffin has QC experience in piles, racking and modules. She is currently overseeing piles at one of our Mississippi project sites. Finding mistakes is a key part of her role in QC. Over the years, Muffin has come to view them as another way to learn.

“I hate making mistakes,” she admits. “I’ll beat myself up about it all day. But I’ll do everything I can to not make the same mistake again. Everyone makes mistakes, even in Quality Control. It’s what you do next that matters.”

Thinking back to her time doing QC for piles at one of our Georgia projects, Muffin remembers her supervisor pointing out that a pile was misspaced. “I couldn’t believe that I had missed it during my inspection. I was embarrassed. But there it was, out of line. Now, that’s the first thing I look for. I take my time to make sure they’re spaced correctly,” Muffin explains.

That’s something she recently learned about herself in Blue Ridge Power’s Front Line Leader training—she thinks before she acts. One of her strengths is that she considers the future effects of a decision, a critical element in QC. She also passes that on to new QC employees during training—one of the things she likes most about her job.

“Most people haven’t done solar before, so I try to make it relatable. At Landrace, I trained some new people who had just gone through PowerUp. I described the piles as lines of children. You want to look down the row and see them all in line—no kids stepping out or turning their heads. Because the piles have to be straight and evenly spaced or the arrays will never work. That made sense to them and they responded really well to it.”

Aisha and Datacia Wesson

Muffin has a special person to thank for her move to solar—her wife, Aisha Wesson, a QC Technician I currently overseeing racking at Moonshot.

“I had been working in asphalt for 10 years. Aisha was in solar first and convinced me to make a change. It’s so nice to be on the road together. We can be emotional support for each other.”

When Muffin’s not on the road, she spends time with her three daughters and three granddaughters at home in Greenville, NC. “They’re all roses, no thorns,” she says with a proud smile.