A Dream Employee | By Andrew Bergamaschi, Co-Founder & COO of Maryland Print House - Penn-Mar

A Dream Employee | By Andrew Bergamaschi, Co-Founder & COO of Maryland Print House

Posted on April 15, 2021

Jordan Ketterman is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met. As a production assistant, he is a crucial member of the team at Maryland Print House, a screen-printing company based in Manchester, Carroll County. My partners and I founded the company in December 2017. Jordan is also the first person with a disability to work for Maryland Print House (MPH). Jordan has great ability as our “screen cleaning machine,” is consistent on the job, has a fantastic work ethic, and great sense of humor. Overall Jordan is a joy to work with.

I first met Jordan five years ago at another screen-printing company in the area. Jordan had been working at the local company for about 10 years. As their screen cleaner, it was clear to me he was self-reliant and knew exactly what he had to do. Jordan had everything laid out in a systematic way that made him efficient. Although I did not supervise Jordan, just working with him was a lot of fun.

When it came time to move on to bigger and better things as a co-founder and minority owner of MPH, my partners and I got to a point in our new business venture where we realized we needed someone like Jordan, the “screen cleaning machine,” who could hop right into the position, and would be flexible in terms of scheduling. It’s not easy to train for the position or find someone to do that kind of job, because it’s not pretty work, and the turnover is high. We knew Jordan could do it and do it well, so we reached out to the old company who informed us he was available for hire. So, we scooped him right up, with the help of Tonya Stonesifer, Employment Specialist with Penn-Mar Human Services.

While at the prior company, I had the chance to meet Tonya, Jordan’s career counselor, who along with Court Dudek, supervises his job supports and would regularly stop by and check in on him to see how he was doing. Tonya was the first person we reached out to after we learned Jordan was available.

We explained to Tonya that we would like to hire Jordan to work in the same capacity at MPH. Once we got the OK from Jordan, he was thrilled to hear that we would be working together again.

When Jordan came in for his first shift, he was very excited and ready to go. He picked up his duties in a snap, as expected, there was hardly any training needed at all. He really helped the company right off the bat. The amount of time my partners and I have to focus on the other important tasks of keeping a small business running is thanks in large part to Jordan taking over a critical part of our shop’s production process. We originally started him off with 20 hours a week, since workflow fluctuated from day to day and we were still a growing company. It wasn’t long, only three days of having him around, that he got a raise and was up to 40 hours a week on an as-needed basis.

Jordan has been with us for a just over a year now, not including the two months he was furloughed due to the COVID shutdown, which Tonya helped us navigate.

As part of our team, he’s just one of the guys, and fits in super well. He’s always cracking jokes, and always super friendly and cordial with everybody. You’re just not going to walk by him without getting a word out of his mouth that’s going to make you smile or laugh. We all look forward to seeing him when he comes in.

As a business owner having an employee like Jordan who brings consistency, dependability, initiative, and self-sufficiency to his job and the company is a dream come true.

Andrew Bergamaschi (burr-ga-MUSS-key) is a Co-founder and Chief Operations Officer of Maryland Print House in Manchester, MD.

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