People of DecoArt: Junior
November 13, 2019
Junior has been a master machine operator at the DecoArt paint manufacturing plant for 20 years. He runs a paint bottling line and says it's hard for people to understand what he does without seeing the operation in action. The machine Junior operates stands the bottles up, fills them, screws on the caps, and applies the labels. He is responsible for maintaining the machine and setting it up according to the paint and bottle sizes running that day. When there is a clog or something not working properly, it is up to Junior to find and solve the problem.
At the job Junior had prior to working at DecoArt, he hated going to work for 15 years. Then, one day he walked in, turned around, and walked right back out. He stopped at DecoArt and put in an application that day. Before he even returned home, he had a call from DecoArt on his answering machine. He was interviewed, hired, and started working at DecoArt only four days later. Every day since, he enjoys coming to work and takes great pride in the key role he plays.
Junior is a seriously hard worker. He said, "I work here just like I do for myself at home," and at home, Junior is a farmer who raises cattle. He uses DecoArt paint around his property and recently painted his shutters with Americana Decor Curb Appeal in Estate Red.
Junior challenges himself every day and tries to see how many gallons of paint he can bottle. He said, "If I run 600 tomorrow, I'm going to try to run 650 the next day." Junior holds a DecoArt record for bottling 1,879 gallons of paint into 32-oz bottles in 10 hours. Stan Clifford, DecoArt President and CEO, was impressed.
When Junior visits craft stores that carry DecoArt paints, like Michaels or Hobby Lobby, he said he always checks the batch codes on the paints to see if he bottled them. If the batch code stamped on your bottle of DecoArt paint contains a "J" there's a good chance it was bottled by Junior.
Below are some of the questions our Instagram followers asked Junior during our "Ask Me Anything" session on Instagram Stories. Check them out to learn more about him:
Follow DecoArt on Instagram to participate in our next "Ask Me Anything" session on Instagram Stories. Leave any questions you have for Junior in the comments below!
Do you paint?
"Not usually, but just some home improvements. Such as the shutters."
Have you always worked with bottling the paint?
"Most of my career at DecoArt has been on the bottling lines. But I have filled in on the Label press, and in maintenance."
How many bottles can you fill up in a day?
"Up to 30,000"
What your most favorite memory at DecoArt?
"Too many to list. But was very glad when I came to 1st shift. Worked on 3rd shift for 11 years."
What do you do when you're not at work?
"Mostly working on the farm. I have 160 acres and 50 head of cattle."
How many paint bottling lines are there?
"Currently there are 8 automated lines. We are preparing to install line 9 in 2020."
Do you like bottling a specific product over others?
"My favorite would be the 4 oz. Crafter's Acrylics."
Do you work the line on your own? Or is it like a team?
"Running a bottling line is a team effort. It takes two to effectively run a line. The operator and packer are a team."
What is your favorite movie and why?
"Roadhouse. Lots of action."
What does a master machine operator do exactly?
"Run as much paint as possible. With the best quality possible. Train new employees. And inspire others to live up to the same expectations."