Meet Raymundo Jimenez, Service Field Office Manager & Safety Technician
As clichéd as it may sound, Raymundo Jimenez is living the American dream. In 1994, after finishing his service in the Mexican Armed Forces, he left his home in Mexico City to come to California. After living in the United States for just three weeks, Raymundo applied at the Concord, CA, office of D. C. Taylor Co. (then Cypress Roof Corporation) and was hired. That job opportunity turned into 22 years of opportunities for Raymundo, and he’s been embracing every single one of them.
The hardest part of working for the company in those early days wasn’t the physical labor and grunt work he was assigned, it was communicating. “I knew a little English, but not enough to have a conversation,” he says. Recognizing how important communication was, Raymundo took night classes to learn the language. “I wanted to work around English-speaking people. The best school ever was listening to them all day long,” he recalls. With his roofing skills growing by the day and his fluency improving, Raymundo was a natural choice to lead a new crew. He had only been with D. C. Taylor Co. for two years but his potential was undeniable.
That first step from Roofing Technician to Project Supervisor was just the beginning. Over the years, Raymundo’s ambition continued to be recognized. He also continued taking classes at his manager’s encouragement. The company saw his growth as an investment and pushed him to register for more advanced language classes, as well as computer and management classes. “I can’t even remember how many classes I took,” he jokes. It wasn’t long before Raymundo would find himself on the other side of the desk, moving from student to teacher.
“I knew right away that he was someone who totally bought into safety,” says D. C. Taylor Co.’s Environmental Health & Safety (EH&S) Director Brad Richardson. “The Bureau of Labor Statistics breaks down injury rates. There are so many articles regarding the disproportionate number of injuries to Hispanic workers.” Brad knew he needed a bilingual trainer and he had his sights set on Raymundo. For a trial run, Brad flew him to Kansas City to assist with an OSHA 10-hour training for Spanish-speaking employees.
“Most of the time our OSHA safety training classes were with an English-speaking person. They weren’t roofers. All of the questions we had, they couldn’t answer,” says Raymundo. “I knew all of the Hispanic workers were only getting 30-percent of the information.” The prospect of changing that was exciting.
After many months (and many train-the-trainer classes) later, Raymundo accepted a role in the company’s EH&S department. “Raymundo is our West Coast Safety Technician and is an authorized OSHA Construction 10- and 30-hour trainer, as well as Vice Chairperson of D. C. Taylor Co.’s Safety Committee,” says Brad. “His passion for the safety and well-being of the employees of D. C. Taylor Co. is genuine and infectious.”
Today he assists with the development of the company’s written safety policies, performs jobsite safety inspections, and provides classroom and on-the-job training, such as OSHA 10- and 30-hour, safe use of rough terrain forklift and aerial work platform, fall protection, heat illness prevention, etc. His roofing experience combined with his safety training make him extremely valuable. “I’ve worked with Raymundo for four years. We’ve been on many projects together. He teaches you a lot and is very safety-oriented. He makes sure everything is safe,” adds Barton Huff, Service Project Supervisor, D. C. Taylor Co., Concord, CA.
Raymundo currently divides his time between the EH&S department and his duties as the Concord, CA, Service Field Office Manager. “Do what you like and become passionate about it. I’m using the training I received. It keeps you going, knowing you’re proud of something,” he says. His pride is obvious to everyone he interacts with: fellow coworkers, the service crews he manages, and even the facility/plant managers he services. “Customers like the way he holds himself, the respect he gives them, and the knowledge he has,” says Barton. “Ray is an all-around good guy.”
Throughout 2016, D. C. Taylor Co. will be honoring its employees by sharing a blog profile of their experiences working for the company each month. We think our people are our most valuable asset. After you meet them, we think you’ll understand why.//