Latrice White, Human Resources Manager, came to Praters two years ago looking for a change.
“I was diversity coordinator at a large organization,” she said. “I needed a change from corporate America. But I wanted to stay in HR, because that’s what I love to do.”
She’d never heard of Praters before, but applied for the job and heard back the next day.
“I had no clue,” she said. “So I went on the website, and was like, amazed that this company doing big projects was in Chattanooga.”
So, how different is it really to work for a small business over a big corporation?
“You really get to know everybody, beyond just a work relationship,” Latrice said. “You stay in your circle at other places. But you really feel like part of the family at Praters.”
When she joined Praters, the company was in transition from a small business to a medium business.
“Latrice helped guide us through the transition with her HR expertise and calm spirit,” Debbie Prater, owner/CFO, said. “She has been able to set up the policies and procedures needed to keep us legal during our growth, while still maintaining the family business feeling. Praters wouldn’t be what it is in 2019 without Latrice.”
In the past, Latrice specialized in one specific HR role at a time, like diversity coordinator. But at a smaller organization like Praters, that isn’t really an option.
“It’s kind of hard to say what my favorite part of my job here is,” she said. “There are so many different aspects of HR, and at Praters I get to engage in all of them. So that’s a challenge, but it’s a good challenge. I think the best part of the job for me is being able to be a support system for people here.”
And as a support system for all of our employees, Latrice meets with everyone often, and has learned what makes people stand out.
“When people come in with the expectation to work hard and do what’s right, those people tend to do really well in their jobs,” she said. “They also tend to be the people who enjoy their jobs the most, and love what they do.”