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Employees say there is opportunity for growth at local auto body shop

Some of the employees there started off in entry-level positions, but have worked their way up to management.

Posted: Jul 3, 2019 2:52 PM
Updated: Jul 3, 2019 3:00 PM

MEDFORD, Ore. — With the advent of legal marijuana local auto body shop Star Body Works says that it's harder to find entry-level employees. But, they say, there is plenty of opportunity for growth for those willing to come in and work hard.

Some of the employees there started off in entry-level positions, but have worked their way up to management.

"Every day I come into work because I want to be here," said Jake Jennings. He applied to Star Body Works 10 years ago when he had just finished high school.

"I was a car washer, or detailer," Jennings said.

Now he's worked his way up to general manager after a series of promotions.

"I was a body man helper, I was also a paint apprentice. I've taken vehicle apart, put them back together, quality control, some production management stuff and being an estimator," Jennings said.

The owner of Star Body Works, Mark Lamensdorf, says that Jennings' trajectory is something that happens often at his shop.

"If someone wants to come to work for us — whether they want to be a painter, technician, work in the office, or a body man — we can start them out in the car wash or a lower position and work them up through the company," Lamensdorf said. "We find if they got good work habits, we want to invest in them."

Lamensdorf says that about 15 of his current employees have already been promoted, including 20-year-old Robert Shaffer. He was hired to wash and detail cars, but Lamensdorf noticed Shaffer's work ethic and promoted him to be an estimator.

"I really like how he'll find guys from within and build them up. Instead of just going and looking for people with experience, he's willing to train," said Shaffer.

"He has given me everything I could ever dream of as far as opportunities and a career," said Jennings, the general manager, referring to Lamensdorf. "College isn't everything. You don't have to go to college to make great money, to have a career, there's lots of jobs out there if you're willing to work for them."

Lamensdorf says that applicants don't have to know much about the industry to apply for an entry-level job. He says that he trains all of his employees for each new position they get.

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