Catasauqua Press

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Cement Worker of the Month

Thursday, July 9, 2015 by ED PANY Curator, Atlas Cement CompanyMemorial Museum in Columns

Ronald Hess Jr. Lehigh-Heidelberg

Mr. Ronald Hess Jr. was raised in Kutztown, graduating from Kutztown High School in 1990. Completing the vocational tech carpentry program, in high school, he played both center and defensive linemen positions on the football team and first baseman on the baseball team. The baseball team qualified for the state tournament.

"I heard Lehigh-Heidelberg was hiring so I started as a laborer right out of high school," Ron recalls. "My grandfather, Alfred, worked here in Evansville and lived in a company home, and my father, Ron Sr., followed in his footsteps. The family has logged over a hundred years at the plant."

Mr. Hess has held a variety of jobs at the plant but has spent most of his 25 years in the maintenance department working as a shift and day repairman. To improve his skills, he attended Berks County Community College and earned a journeymen certificate in the mechanical curriculum.

"I like to rebuild equipment, and it is rewarding to see the machinery operating at full efficiency," he said. "Along the way, my father, father-in-law Roy Youse, Ronnie Miller, Dennis Fink and Richard Hottinstein shared their work experiences with me."

Safety is a number-one priority at the plant. Each morning a short safety session is presented to the maintenance team by maintenance foreman Chuck Christman. The hard-working team is led by maintenance manager Mike Transue. Members of the group share their skills with co-workers. Their objective is to see the plant operating in a safe and efficient manner.

Mr. Hess said, "I enjoy the challenges of my job and working closely with my co-workers and supervisors."

Ron met his wife of 20 years, Susan Youse, at the plant. She is the current plant administrator.

In his spare time, he enjoys golf, woodworking, snowmobiling and following his favorite team, the Denver Broncos. Currently, Ron and his wife are attending son Jacob's baseball games and daughter Rachael's swimming meets. The friendly couple reside in Blandon, Berks County. The children are students in the Fleetwood Area School District.

Mr. Hess is a dedicated hard- working cement worker who continues a family tradition at the century-old Evansville plant. They are proud to produce a product that has helped build America.