Working for You

Alex Sandul, Press Operator

When Alex first started working at Superior Tape and Label, he never expected it to be more than a short-term gig.

As a former crane operator for a large national company, Alex spent most of his days behind the wheel. But when he was temporarily laid off, he received an unexpected call from a local temp agency - a mystery that has changed the course of his professional career.

"It's kind of weird how it happened," Alex explains. "I got a call from a temp agency that I never even applied to. I don't know if someone put in a referral for me, or what. I don't know who would have done that."

Fortunately, the close location and interesting work seemed like a great change of pace from his usual big-box corporate experiences. But although convenience was a huge draw - he lives within a mile of the STL headquarters - his main attraction was the novelty of working for a small, family-run business.

"I've always worked for big companies," Alex says. "So when I saw how relatively small the shop was, that kind of caught my eye. I've never had a small company experience before, so I ended up applying. Even when they called me back from my other job, I turned it down."

For the last two years, Alex has become a master of press operation - a far cry from the crane operating jobs he held before that. In that time, he has managed print jobs both big and small, and become an expert at detecting flaws in how the press operates. According to Alex, who runs the "A10" printing press (each press is named for a fighter plane), each job has a unique sound when its running perfectly. And being aware of those small signals is the key to knowing if the press isn't doing its job.

"You can tell by the sound, or by a visual look when something's going wrong," Alex says. "The more practice you have, the better you become at it."

In addition to his work at STL, Alex is very involved with his family and personal interests. When he's not operating the press, you can find him hitting the slopes of Mount Hood with his wife and three children. The Ukraine native says his lust for wide-open spaces is a function of his childhood in the busy city of Kiev.

"It comes with the territory, I guess," he says. "I've always been trapped in the city, but I think I'm more of a country guy. Skiing just allows me to step out of the city, but then come back when I'm done."

When asked what his favorite part about working with Superior Tape and Label, he's emphatic: the atmosphere.

"The small company feeling is very important to me. The fact that they're loyal to their employees is pretty important to me, too. I really like the trust factor that they have. That's what reeled me into staying here - the fact that, right off the bat, they were pretty outgoing as far as once you're on your feet, letting you do your job."