The Interview with Joe Hoffman

Jul 19, 2019

Joe has been with Imperial Systems for twelve years. In his spare time he enjoys fishing and hunting. He also enjoys spending time with his wife, four children, and three dogs.

Q: How long have you been here?

Twelve years. I started off welding duct in the old building in Jackson Center, working second shift. I built the first CMAXX, and after that they paired me up with Higby and we built them together after that.

Q: When did you move up to management?

That was about four or five years ago. I was already a manager, overseeing all the guys, and then when the plant manager left I just kind of took over all of that too. I’ve been a supervisor for a while. I like it. It’s a challenge, keeping all the guys in line, making sure everything is done right. You can’t check everything… you could look at the same piece ten times and still not see everything. But usually things move really smoothly.

Q: You like what you do now?

Yeah, I like it. There’s a lot to do, keeping track of all the shipping dates and where everything is in production, keeping an eye on everything, teaching the new guys when they come in.

Q: What’s it been like since we moved over to the new building?

A lot busier. It went smoother than you’d think, though. Not many hiccups, considering all the changes. The powder coating was new and we had some glitches with that, but we learned a lot about it, and now it usually goes smoothly too.

Q: How many kids do you have?

Four, two boys and two girls. The youngest one is sixteen. The other ones are out of school now, and the one works here now.

Q: What’s it been like having your son working here?

He’s been here about two years. He’s still learning. He graduated from high school and was looking for a job, and this is a good place to work. He works just like everybody else.

Q: What do you do when you’re not here?

If I’ve got free time I do some fishing, either the Allegheny or at Pymatuning. I take the boys with me, but the girls don’t want to go. I’ll go camping sometimes. My family has a cabin, and my wife’s family has a cabin that’s just a few minutes from the river.

Q: Any sports you follow?

I watch the Steelers, but I wouldn’t say I’m a die‑hard fan. I’ll just watch football, whoever is playing. I’m not a serious sports fan. My son played football in school.

Q: Other hobbies?

I go hunting. I got a couple of doe this past season. Got most of the meat ground up. I used to do all the cutting up myself, but it takes forever, so I just take them to get done now. I’ve got three dogs. One of them is a beagle, but he never turned out to be a hunting dog. Just didn’t want to hunt. We ended up bringing him in the house. He got housebroken really easy, just followed the other dogs.

Q: So after twelve years, what can you say about working here?

It’s a good place. It’s definitely the best place I’ve ever worked. I’ve learned a lot working here. I’ve gotten to build pretty much everything we make here. I get to teach all the new guys, and I like doing that.

Q: It’s a good work environment?

It’s a really good bunch of guys. We all get along. We joke around a lot. It’s a good group to work with.

Q: Everything usually flows pretty smoothly?

Usually, it goes well. Sometimes dates change because the customer keeps changing details on the project, and engineering has to do a new drawing for approval… everything has to go from sales to engineering to production, so sometimes it takes time to get to us. Even when we get really busy, we keep things moving.

Q: Any good stories you want to tell?

Absolutely, but not any of them that I can tell you!