Robert Perez has friends who were forced out of work or to switch careers, but as he works for a Minuteman Press franchise, his years and job satisfaction continue to accumulate as the leader of the modern printing industry takes care of its own.
It was a simple newspaper ad in the paper that led Robert to a respectable career in the printing industry. Hilda Sanchez needed a skilled press operator back in 2002 as her Minuteman Press franchise in Long Beach, CA, continued to welcome a great variety of projects that required precision printing. What Robert did not know at the time that he walked in for the interview was that technical talent was part of the job requirement, but working for a Minuteman Press franchise owner and becoming part of a longstanding tradition meant heart and soul were prerequisites too. It turned out to be a perfect fit for Robert who is now a 44 year old father of seven and more than content with his choice to join Hilda’s team.
“I have now spent 21 years in the printing industry as I had a family member who was in printing (labels specifically). After I started on a small, two-color press, I never stopped. I may have started printing in Tempe, AZ, but moved to California and was hired by Minuteman Press in 2002 and I love what I do here. Also, I get to spend real time with my family and be with them as needed, thanks to the relationship I have with my boss, Hilda Sanchez,” he shares.
On the day Hilda hired Robert, she had other people to interview, but her foresight and experience told her he was the right candidate. She explains, “I had a press operator here who was not quite doing the job to our standards and I needed someone new. Though I had several interviews back-to-back and Robert was the first one, Shortly into our interview, I already knew I was going to hire him. I interview off-location to start, so he walked in quietly and a bit shy, more used to equipment than people, but the chemistry was very good. I went through the rest of the interviews, but proceeded to hire him and he joined us, doing a wonderful job on the press and bindery equipment. The good chemistry I mentioned allowed us to train him and expand his role in our center over time.”
“They not only keep us up to date with skills. They ask us how life is going, actually care and are understanding if family issues need attention. This is rare for any company, small or big. Minuteman Press cares about us.” – Robert Perez, Manager, Minuteman Press franchise, Long Beach, California
As the years progressed and Minuteman Press of Long Beach gained popularity and took on more loyal clients, the opportunity to explore new roles in what was becoming (and is today) a multi-faceted digital print, design and marketing services was presented to Robert and he obliged. “His role evolved as our center evolved. As we made the transition from primarily offset printing to digital printing, my husband and partner, Dave, trained him on the new equipment and he also learned how to talk to the customers, vendors and to prepare quotes.” A charming note is that Robert went from a man more accustomed to working with the equipment and today, there are people who call and request to speak with him personally. It is further evidence of good health in the working environment of a local Minuteman Press, one that inspires talented employees to stay and become the best versions of themselves.
The trust that has developed from the chemistry Hilda identified the first time she met Robert resulted in smoother daily operations and more flexibility for employee and employer. She says, “After years of experience and training with us, Robert is more comfortable now to cover aspects of the business that initially may have been daunting. As a result, we are comfortable taking vacations knowing he can run the business, handle the staff and will get hold of us if needed, but as he is well-trained and supported on our team, he typically handles things until we return.”
“We treat him as part of our family and even took him to a seminar that he credits with helping him become a homeowner. We pointed him to resources that helped him secure a down payment which he did all on his own, but he appreciates us and we appreciate him, so we are happy to provide guidance in areas both professional and personal,” Hilda explains.
As Minuteman Press International is always dedicated to every franchise owner, providing training and support, Minuteman Press franchisees extend those benefits to their employees.
It seems the entire culture of the brand is about doing just a little bit more than requested to enrich each situation. “Hilda and Dave are great employers who are about us, but they also help us improve ourselves personally and at work. They send us to classes to make sure our skills are developing and even though I know the classes are to make us stronger at work, it feels as if it is for us, personally,” according to Robert.
Hilda Sanchez and Dave Rigby are not puzzled about the loyalty that their longest term employees have given to them. They are actually living the virtues implemented by their franchisor that many business owners simply claim to possess for media attention, but do not practice. Hilda says, “Because Minuteman Press International has evolved as the printing industry has changed and has not been shy about, for instance, advancing to digital printing and producing promotional products, they set the tone for US to do the same. This translates to our staff as we grow and change in the world. Robert has friends who are press operators who are out of work or were forced to change careers, but he is able to enjoy a lengthy career of his choice due to Minuteman Press International’s willingness and ability to evolve.”
While his children and grandchildren get to enjoy the best of Robert at home, he gets to continue to enjoy his chosen profession in the printing industry; and he knows where credit is due for his good fortune: “Sometimes, I almost feel bad taking money for the work that I get to do. I cannot imagine myself being anywhere else. I love working for Minuteman Press.”