Tony Santiago, who has been at Penn Waste seven years, was hired as a driver while he was still attending York County School of Technology to be a diesel mechanic. Today, he takes pride in his work and the life the job has provided him.
While most people imagine truck bays to be greasy, dusty, and dirty places, Tony Santiago knows that’s not the case at the repair garage at Penn Waste in East Manchester Township. Every day, he prides himself in ensuring his toolbox shines and the floor is spotless.
Tony was hired by the company more than seven years ago as a truck driver. He spent six months behind the wheel, learning how the vehicles work and what the job entails each day.
His real goal, though, was to fix the vehicles when they broke down. When he finished his education as a diesel mechanic at York County School of Technology, Penn Waste pulled him off the route and put him in the garage. He’s been there ever since.
‘Proud of my career’
Today, Tony is the second-shift leader and oversees repairs, inspections, safety checks, and training of new staff.
He sees a lot of young mechanics coming up through the ranks as he did years ago. They’re curious. They want to grow. And Tony wants to help them.
“I enjoy sharing my passions with others who want to do good work,” he says. “I feel like I accomplish something when I can train someone to do something on their own. It’s rewarding to see someone succeed.”
For Tony, he finds reassurance that his job is secure.
“Everyone has trash,” he says, laughing. He feels respected by the company; he knows he’s valued.
Through the years, he’s also built relationships with his crew. Someone might come over and help him with a project at his house, or if he ever needed anything, he knows he has people he can call.
“I’m blessed being here,” Tony says. “I’m proud of my career. I feel I’ve accomplished a lot.”