Every year since 1978, our sister city ten miles away hosts its annual 15k Utica Boilermaker Road Race.

For the unanointed, every July, tens of thousands of runners compete against the clock and themselves to not only complete the race, but to beat their personal records. For some people, the reward is achieving their goals. For others, it’s the cold pints of Saranac beer served to race finishers soon after crossing the line. 

As Kris-Tech recently moved into a new expansion building at our Rome headquarters, it needed to leave its old facility a half hour away in McConnellsville. It was an epic task; some might even say Boilermaker-esque! Just like the famous road race, the KT team was competing not only against itself, but also with a tight timeline.

While picking up and moving an entire facility is enough to elicit a groan from even the most eager employees, June’s Employee of the Month embraced the challenge head-on. Because of their efforts, Kris-Tech got everyone back under one roof safely and ahead of schedule. 

We’re proud to announce that Day Shift Material Handler John Coccagnia is this month’s Employee of the Month! 

Manufacturing Mise en Place 

Moving an entire facility is a massive endeavor, but it’s important to treat the process like a marathon, not a sprint.

Spotting an opportunity to help the entire team, John jumped in and got to work. 

“John took the initiative to help the team in Mill Pond prep all the materials coming to Otis,” Director of Operations Larry Reed explained. “His work took pressure off the Otis team so they could start prepping the facility to receive all of Mill Pond’s materials. John also helped the maintenance team by taking down racking and sending it to the Otis St. Location. This allowed maintenance to focus on other machine moves.”

John’s tireless ability to get the job done was matched by his attention to detail. He stopped to make sure every inch of the Mill Pond facility was clean every step of the way, leaving the temporary facility cleaner than when Kris-Tech moved in. 

“I cannot express enough how committed John was, and all the effort it took from him to make this move happen,” Reed said. “His commitment to excellence during the move had a tremendously positive impact on this project’s success. Because of him, we moved the warehouse a month ahead of the planned schedule.” 

A Journey of a Thousand Steps 

It’s one thing to cross the finish line as quickly as possible, but helping and inspiring others to do the same helps everyone achieve more. 

While some might shy away at blazing new trials for themselves, John eagerly looked for ways to pitch in. Occasionally, it meant doing something he had never done before.

“While cleaning out the warehouse and sorting out potential scrap, John was charged with getting the scrap trucks loaded and completing the necessary paperwork,” Reed said. “John took the initiative to learn the process, and we handled the scrap with no issues.” 

His connection to the moving project didn’t end once the door locked at Mill Pond. Once the materials were unloaded at Otis, he stepped up alongside his team to keep the momentum going. 

“Within the first week at Otis, you could see how his efforts impacted how materials got put away on the racks,” Reed explained. “John continually works with his teammates and others to ensure material is pulled for respool and all stock is put away quickly. He’s a get shit done type of person and always willing to do what it takes to get the job done.” 

Celebrating All Our Nominees 

We’re sprinting toward the end of another year and have officially filled half our roster of nominees for this year’s Employee of the Year award!

John is June’s winner, but he wasn’t the only person nominated for Employee of the Month. Other nominees included: 

Gary Como
Steve Pietrowski 

So, who’s next to join this year’s list of winners? Come back next month to see! In the meantime, check out our past winners, including Griffin, Steve, Kelsey, Ashley, and Christina, to see how they live the Kris-Tech Way!