Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Body Shop Lead Celebrates 40th Work Anniversary at Community Transit

 Gerry Martin reflects on 40 years working in transit

Community Transit began operations in 1976, 42 years ago. 2019 marks a milestone; On April 16, Community Transit celebrated body shop lead Gerry Martin as the first employee to achieve 40 years of service to the agency.

Originally from Winthrop, Washington, Martin left his hometown where he worked for the Forestry Service to come to western Washington. In 1979 he was hired to perform preventative maintenance on Community Transit buses.

Body shop lead Gerry Martin
Flash forward 40 years and now Martin is the lead of the agency body shop. Some of his duties include repairing buses, providing estimates for repairs and new bus preparation, including the installation of graphics. Martin has also been instrumental in the design and overall look of the agency buses over the years.

When Martin reflects on his time spent with the agency and what’s changed, he says that technology in the industry has changed quite a bit.

“Buses are so computerized, and along with that goes the technology of the technicians working on them and their knowledge,” said Martin.

But he’s not stuck in the past, he has a strong appreciation for new technology and the new batch of younger employees entering the industry. “They’re so technical. I love it,” said Martin.

While Martin takes pride when he sees an agency bus on the road, you might be surprised to learn what kept him around for 40 years has less to do with the actual work and more to do with the people he works with.

“After 40 years it’s a family,” Martin said. The one thing that he says hasn’t changed is the comradery. “It’s always been strong, it’s always been great.”

Martin says it’s the strong relationships with his team at Community Transit that kept him returning day after day, year after year.

Can you imagine working for the same agency for 40 years? What are the factors that would be most important in your decision to stay for decades?