Idaho Man Breaks Record: He's Worked For The State For 57 Years And Counting

Apr 15, 2016

He’s the record-holder in Idaho for state service; 57 years at the Idaho Transportation Department. And Terry Jacobsen says he’s planning to break that record. He wants to keep going until he hits his Diamond anniversary; 60 years working for the state of Idaho.

“I was a greenhorn when I started,” Jacobsen says. That was April 14, 1959. They didn’t even have calculators then, so he had to use a slide rule, or “slip stick,” as he calls them. He’s watched so many things change and advance over the years.  "It boggles my mind to think about them,” he says.

Jacobsen is  77 years old. Today he works in the materials lab in Pocatello and he plans to keep going.

“Yeah, I’m shooting for 60 [years], and maybe more,” he says.

Working the longest in state service is no easy task. Former Secretary of State Pete Cenarrusa had the honor for 52 years. Others have gone as high as 49 years in service. Elden Dormier, a welder with ITD, had the honor, reaching 56 years when he retired in 2013. Now Jacobsen holds the record.

When Jacobsen looks back on the younger version of himself, he says he has this advice:

“Don’t get discouraged, kid! Hang in there and keep plugging away and your world will get brighter!”

Jacobsen (left) gets his 40-year service award in 1999.
Credit Idaho Transportation Department

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