Working: Kris Profenno retains merchandise transferring and on time at Auburn Manufacturing Inc.

Kris Profenno, logistics and transport coordinator at Auburn Manufacturing Inc. in Auburn, straps merchandise to a pallet Feb. 22 for transport. Andree Kehn/Solar Journal

AUBURN — Statistically, staff on this nation keep a median of 4 years at a job.

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics experiences that in 2022, whilst staff hit 55, their median tenure was about 10 years.

Kris Profenno is manner exterior the median, with 35 years and counting at Auburn Manufacturing Inc.

When he started there in 1987, he was the thirteenth worker and there was just one location. The opposite 12 staff have come and gone, the corporate has expanded to 2 places and the workforce is at 50 and nonetheless rising.

Auburn Manufacturing produces excessive warmth safety textiles and materials to guard folks and gear within the mining, oil and petrochemical, shipbuilding, glassmaking and different industries. These merchandise are shipped throughout North America and to many different nations.

Now 57, Profenno, the corporate’s transport and logistics coordinator, and co-worker Roger Millett are answerable for guaranteeing the corporate’s merchandise get to their vacation spot intact and on time.

“Kris brings quite a bit to the desk as an worker and co-worker,” Kathie Leonard, the president and chief government officer of Auburn Manufacturing, mentioned. “For starters, he’s bought that legendary work ethic Mainers are recognized for — quality-minded, reliable and prepared to assist wherever wanted. In a small manufacturing firm, the place we should put on loads of hats, that’s extraordinarily worthwhile.”

Kris Profenno, logistics and transport coordinator at Auburn Manufacturing Inc. in Auburn, makes use of a forklift Feb. 22 to maneuver a full pallet for cargo. Andree Kehn/Solar Journal

Getting a foot within the door generally is a problem at good corporations, and Auburn Manufacturing has lengthy had a popularity of being a fascinating place to work. Thus, connections come into play. For Profenno, it was his mom, who was Auburn Manufacturing’s banker within the Eighties.

“My mother informed me, ‘Hey, there’s this good place that’s on the lookout for staff, if you happen to’re fascinated by a profession change,’” Profenno mentioned.

Out of highschool and 21, Profenno was .

“I used to be working at Superior Concrete (in Auburn), making concrete varieties. It’s a reasonably thankless job,” Profenno mentioned, including he then utilized and commenced a brand new job at Auburn Manufacturing Inc.

“They technically employed me to be a creel tender, which implies we used to have wood racks behind looms and we’d have cones set on them. There can be like six rows, all with a whole lot of cones on them, and my first job was to verify none of these ran out.”

However with fast-moving equipment, working out is inevitable.

“It’s at all times the one on the underside that runs out,” Profenno mentioned, “so that you’re down there in your again attempting to feed yarn by way of. I used to be fairly anxious to maneuver on from that place.”

However he caught with it. A few years on the third shift, one other 18 months on the second shift and he was then given the chance to run an oven in Mechanic Falls. The job concerned utilizing warmth to scrub impurities from woven material, which is among the firm’s main product traces.

In the future, as Profenno was tending the oven, his supervisor requested if Profenno might strap up some merchandise on a skid for cargo, which Profenno did.

“So every little thing was proper over the place I used to be working, so I might control my first job,” Profenno mentioned. “I began strapping skids and it bought to the purpose the place I needed to shut the oven down. Issues have been getting busier.”

When his boss requested at some point why the oven had been shut down, Profenno answered: “I’ve an excessive amount of to strap. There’s no manner I can do each. You’ve given me this second activity, so I assumed it was extra essential, so I centered on that. So I’ll get that performed and return and run the oven.”

Quickly after, it grew to become Kris Profenno’s full-time job.

Simply earlier than his twentieth anniversary, Profenno left the corporate to assist his spouse, Karen, take care of a member of the family in Porter. For practically a yr, he languished in a job he known as boring. However as destiny would have it, Profenno and his spouse, a nurse, had the possibility to get their outdated jobs again within the Auburn space.

For Kris Profenno, it will imply taking a job at Auburn Manufacturing Inc. that was a lot decrease within the pecking order than his outdated place. He took it anyway, and inside six months was provided a greater place and in a position to negotiate again a lot of what he had collected over 20 years. Three weeks later, his outdated place in transport got here obtainable.

Profenno’s ascension at work was not performed but. He took a supervisory place, towards his spouse’s needs, and have become the longest-tenured supervisor on the Auburn facility.

“However then I form of butted heads with somebody,” he mentioned, “and I made a decision it was time for me to maneuver on. This was after being right here like 31 years.”

Profenno had a brand new job, had handed his bodily examination and even had a begin date. However Leonard at Auburn Manufacturing was not prepared to surrender on Profenno, and made him a proposal he couldn’t refuse — again in transport.

As for his “new” job?

“I known as them and mentioned: ‘Pay attention, one thing’s come up. I’m not leaving. Please preserve my software on file,’” Profenno mentioned.

“Past his work ethic, Kris has an important humorousness and is a pal to everybody he meets,” Leonard mentioned. “We might all be taught quite a bit about work-life stability from Kris.”

Transport and logistics have taken on new significance in recent times at corporations akin to Auburn Manufacturing Inc. Previous to the COVID-19 pandemic, many People had by no means heard of the availability chain. In a weblog publish at the start of 2023, Leonard wrote, “We grew by double digits final yr, because of sturdy international demand!”

Profenno mentioned the corporate has upgraded its transportation administration software program a number of instances and made different enhancements to make the transport course of extra seamless. He has excessive reward for his boss and for Millett, his co-worker.

“We’re a group,” Profenno mentioned. “He does loads of work right here that doesn’t actually get observed as a result of he simply goes about his enterprise and will get issues performed.”

Profenno credit Leonard for making a household environment, the place staff are an individual with a reputation — not only a quantity.

Leonard provided a narrative about Profenno that not everybody is aware of: “Kris, or ‘Krispy,’ as he was dubbed by co-workers, was a little bit of a wild youngster in his early years at AMI. He purchased a model new muscle automobile and preferred to peel out of the parking zone to indicate off. He has settled down over the a long time, marrying the love of his life, Karen, and collectively they cruise the world on large ships as a substitute of round city in automobiles!”

Whereas retirement is just not but within the playing cards, Profenno mentioned he and his spouse like to journey and that most likely is of their future.

“Retirement’s in everybody’s future,” he mentioned. “I do just like the phrase ‘retirement,’ I’m not going to deceive you: I’m simply not prepared but. “

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