On December 6 of this year, Dayshon Beeks will be celebrating four years working at Newark Liberty International Airport. Beeks, 30, started out as a cleaner at Newark, clearing planes between flights. He liked the job, but saw an opportunity to take on more responsibility as a “foreign object and debris,” or FOD, worker. In that job, he makes sure runways are clear of trash so that nothing gets sucked into a plane’s engine.
“I supply the vans, and I take trash or old supplies out the vans, and I go around the ramp picking up trash at the gates. Anything outside, I'm in charge of picking that up on the ramp. Basically you don't want plastic or anything going into the engine. You know, that’s money, damage, and you know, people get hurt,” Beeks says.
Before coming to Newark’s airport, Beeks was working as a temp. He got hired as a cleaner, then moved to helping deliver supplies for first-class cabins before a spot opened up in FOD. Beeks is largely his own supervisor in his current job, and enjoys the ability to work independently. The hardest part, he says, is performing that work in all kinds of weather. He works in rain, snow and blazing heat, and it can be especially difficult to keep runways clear when it’s snowing and the ramps are slippery.
Beeks stays late when he needs to and doesn’t mind taking on extra responsibilities. He has also been involved in union activism, like the fight to increase the minimum wage. He has even traveled to Trenton to speak to legislators.
Outside of work, Beeks spends time with his two young sons. He likes playing video games like “Call of Duty” and hanging out with his family. He was born and raised in New Jersey and still has many relatives nearby.
"You don't want plastic or anything going into the engine. You know, that’s money, damage, and you know, people get hurt." Dayshon Beeks