Joe Reardon learned the aluminum extrusion business from the ground up. Having held a variety of positions during his seven years with Vitex, he has a deep understanding of how all the various processes integrate to make a finished product. This knowledge has brought him to the key position of Production Schedule Coordinator and makes him an invaluable part of our production team.
Q & A with Joe Reardon, Jr.
How long have you worked at Vitex and what positions have you held?
I’ve been here for about seven years. My dad, a long time employee at Vitex, encouraged me to apply after I graduated from high school. I started as a recut saw operator, then moved to extrusion saw operator, then stretcher operator, then press helper. I was then promoted to press operator, to extrusion press supervisor, and then to my current position as Production Schedule Coordinator. I learned a lot about the business process as I moved through these positions.
What have you learned while working at Vitex?
I learned the importance of persistence and mentorship. This was my first job. After I started, my supervisor was concerned I was in over my head because I was new and there was so much to learn. I was transferred to the fabrication side of the business for a while, but I knew I wanted to get back to the extrusion side. I worked hard, focused on my goal, and proved myself so I could move back to the extrusion line. My supervisor, Chris Bartz, saw that I am a fast learner and moved me up as I gained skills. Initially, this was just a job, but over time and with the help of mentors here at Vitex, it has become my career.
Tell us about a favorite project you’ve worked on?
I worked with my dad to build the racks for our stacker system. At the extrusion saw, the aluminum used to be stacked by hand by two workers. When the system was automated, we needed a steel rack built to specifications so the aluminum can be stacked automatically. I had never done steel work before. This project was a great opportunity to learn from my dad how to weld, grind, and cut steel. I’m very proud of this project.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
I enjoy bass fishing and watching professional football – particularly watching the Patriots win!
Tell us something you enjoy about working at Vitex.
The people here are great and make Vitex a truly great place to work. There is a real sense of camaraderie and everyone understands it takes teamwork to make things happen.
What advice would you give to new hires at Vitex?
The best advice I can give is to own your mistakes and take pride in your achievements.