How One Young Man Found His Career in an Athens Truck

Raul Flores Employee Highlight (1)

Week after week, Raul Flores watched Athens Services collection trucks from the counter of the retail store where he worked. One day, he asked the Athens driver what the job was like. “It’s not for everyone,” was the reply.

Raul Flores Employee Highlight (1)

Week after week, Raul Flores watched Athens Services collection trucks from the counter of the retail store where he worked. One day, he asked the Athens driver what the job was like. “It’s not for everyone,” was the reply. 

Raul was curious and decided to apply. Not long afterward, he was called for an interview as a collection truck helper and was hired in November 2017.”I just wanted something to support my family and ended up finding a career at Athens,” he recalled.

 

Learning the Routes and Ropes

Raul rode with drivers on San Gabriel Valley routes, emptying trash and recycling containers. After a few months, a coworker encouraged him to get his commercial driver’s license (CDL), a move that would advance his position, responsibility, and compensation. 

He decided to go for it and enrolled at El Monte Truck Driving School in Irwindale in the evenings. He picked up books from the DMV and used apps to prepare for the test. “The test wasn’t the difficult part,” Raul recalled. “It was having the time to study.” He took the test and successfully passed, earning his CDL.

Not long after earning his license, he applied for a promotion as a commercial driver in the South Bay. He was hired as a driver based out of Athens’ LA South yard in Torrance. His first route served the Torrance, Venice Beach, Palos Verdes Estates, and Hermosa Beach communities.

 

Leading by Example

Recently, Raul received a promotion to Operations Lead, his second promotion in three years. Now he oversees daily operations of LA South collection routes. As part of his responsibilities, he ensures drivers follow the high standards of safety and efficiency. 

Each day, he arrives at the Torrance yard before the drivers to ensure everyone has the proper personal protective equipment (PPE), such as gloves and masks. Raul verifies that drivers have their radios and that service routes are updated on onboard tablet computers. As part of COVID-19 screening, he also checks driver’s temperatures before they sign in. 

His job is a big hit with his four children: Leyla, 8; Raul, 6; Laura, 5; and Leah, 2. “They always ask me about driving and how my day was,” he said. “And every time they see an Athens truck, they say, ‘Dad! There’s your truck!'”

 

Athens Team Work 

Raul appreciates the emphasis on teamwork and mutual support for all team members. He credits the encouragement, training, and development opportunities he received for his success at Athens – a success he is dedicated to continuing. 

“I like that I never feel that I’m alone, that my team is always with me,” Raul said. “When you have that kind of support, it makes you try even more.”

Raul has gone beyond his original goal and has a career, not just a job. “If you find a good opportunity, try it,” he said. “There may be challenges, but with hard work and a good team, you can succeed.”

One of Athens’ priorities is to hire and develop great people like Raul Flores, our January Featured Employee. His perseverance, dedication, and commitment to service exemplify the principles of The Athens Way: Service – People – Environment. 

Athens Services is always looking for dedicated employees like Raul. If you or someone you know is interested in exploring a career that can help your neighborhood and protect the environment, Athens has several opportunities. Check them out at Athens Careers.