Studio TK manufactures furniture for social spaces and is part of Teknion’s collection of brands. Francisco joined Studio TK four years ago. He was an 18-year-old high school student with a strong will to succeed. He was working 50 hours a week in a truck wash and a factory that made elliptical antennas but felt he was going nowhere. He explains that members of his community in Garner, North Carolina, all knew about Studio TK, so he felt it was a natural step to apply.
As he tells it, in his final interview he said to Kevin Williams, Vice President Operations, “Hey man I’m straight out of high school. I’d like to be in a place where I can grow and improve. A place where I have a future.” On his swift rise from assembler to Rapid Continuous Improvement Specialist, he says, “A lot of people say that I’m smart. I don’t think I’m as smart as I am persistent.” What’s next for Francisco? He marvels at how he has grown along with the company, which had just opened its doors when he started. He explains, “Every day I am challenged, and I’m often pushed outside my comfort zone. I still have tons more to do. There are a lot of places we can go.” Francisco is now completing a college course in mechanical engineering, funded by Studio TK.
This will round out his skill set and lay the groundwork for his next move in the company. Charlie Bell, President of Studio TK and ‘Chief Mentor’, articulates the company’s approach to employee engagement and advancement. “We don’t hire for today, we hire for tomorrow. Our approach is to find talent from within the community and nurture it. It’s a win-win situation. The community is strengthened and Studio TK doesn’t need to look further than its own backyard to find the right people to drive our company forward.”