Classified Employee Appreciation Week Profile: Mark Roberts
When Mark Roberts started delivering the mail for PCC in 1991, his band, The Edge of Pleasure, performed in small Portland clubs and a first-class postage stamp cost 29 cents. Both markers are now hard to imagine, but Roberts is not the type of guy who lives in the past.
“I’m lucky in that I really enjoy my work here at PCC,” he said. “I know exactly what needs to be done to keep the deliveries moving smoothly. Each day is slightly different and my job is to figure out how to get the work done as efficiently as possible.”
Roberts figures he logs an average of 500 packages per year, mostly books. If you figure ten pounds per delivery, that’s approximately 125,000 pounds over 25 years.
“Central Distribution Services (CDS) delivers approximately 100 to 200 boxes a day. Department orders are typically paper and classroom supplies, but we handle high value materials as well,” he said. “Those include computers, printers, lab supplies, etc. Faculty and staff depend on CDS. That’s how we support students.”
While timely mail delivery is expected by the more than 3,200 full time and part time faculty and staff at PCC, few employees are aware of the role the CDS plays in community engagement. Two great examples are the PCC Book Mark Project and ongoing equipment donations to schools in the region.
When PCC celebrated its 50 Anniversary during the 2011-12 academic year, each campus was asked to create its own unique project that would contribute to the College’s overall goal of donating 50,000 hours of community service to nonprofit organizations throughout the PCC service district. Rock Creek created the Book Mark project which delivered more than 24,000 pounds of donated books to prison libraries. The project worked because of the commitment made by CDS.
Roberts said, “We collected donated books at the Rock Creek Campus mail site, wrapped them in plastic on wooden pallets and delivered them along with the regular mail to the Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonvillle. We had floor to ceiling stacks of books. The project was expected to last a year, but we reached capacity in 10 months. We made all the delivers to Wilsonville and Coffee Creek and they pushed the books out to other prisons. The prisons told us to stop delivering books because their libraries were full.” Thanks to Roberts and his coworkers at CDS, Rock Creek filled the libraries at Coffee Creek, Powder River, Snake River, Deer Ridge and the Oregon State Prison.
And then there are surplus equipment donations to schools in Columbia County.
“The CDS collects a lot of surplus from throughout the District,” Roberts Said. “We can’t warehouse it all, so we find schools in need of good used equipment. We’ve delivered truckloads of used computers, monitors, printers and other electronic equipment. We’ve even delivered dental mannequins and firetrucks.”
Roberts takes pride in his work and says PCC is a great place to work. “People make the job. CDS is like a family. It works for me.”