For Sofia Ghrayeb, MRF Operator for Pratt Industries, a typical day usually starts with a safety meeting that includes all employees. She views safety as the most important topic in the company’s daily operations and she is always looking for ways to ensure employees have the tools and training they need to complete their work safely. ISRI News had the opportunity to chat with Ghrayeb about her background, her work at Pratt, and some of her goals at the company.
ISRI News: Tell me about your background and how you ended up working in the recycled materials industry.
Sofia Ghrayeb: I was working in manufacturing before, and the facility started a recycling program. I became very involved with the program and learned to love the process and the challenges that came with recycling.
I decided that I wanted to work for a recycling company. Pratt Industries had an open position when I started looking at new opportunities. Through my research, I learned that Pratt has full circle recycling. In other words, we start at the recycling point and take the paper to the mill to be processed and create new paper and then finish by cutting and making new boxes. I met John Dunlap and Shawn State and started working with them; I have been with Pratt for 10 years and I am very happy about my decision on switching my career path.
IN: Tell me about your work at Pratt. What does a typical day/week look like for you?
SG: A typical day starts with a daily safety meeting. We usually pick a safety topic based on what we have going on that week or what we deem necessary. We discuss any adjustments to daily operations and share what is happening inside the company.
I oversee the daily operations; I am responsible for safety trainings and HR related items. I coordinate maintenance items or repairs and talk to procurement reps to make sure that we are keeping customers happy and continue to grow. Facility issues, personnel issues, hiring and employee development, are also part of my responsibilities.
I have conference calls for safety and operations. I make it a point to talk to employees at the plant to make sure that they have everything that they need to be successful at their jobs.
IN: How does safety play a role in your work as a MRF operator at Pratt?
SG: Safety is the most important topic in our daily operations. We have daily safety meetings at the beginning of the shift. Throughout the day I am always looking for ways to improve and get employees to be aware of their surroundings and provide them with the training and tools to any improvements that can help them be successful at completing their tasks safely, such as best practices that are shared within the company, more resistant gloves, or training on the machine operations.
IN: What have you found most interesting about the recycled materials industry so far?
SG: The process of recycling is very interesting; learning how different materials get processed to make new products is amazing to me.
IN: Tell me about the role of technology/innovation at the MRF. How has technology helped improve MRF operations?
SG: Technology has helped improve processes and made it easier to sort items that are a little harder to sort manually; and it has also increased the throughput of materials.
IN: What are some of your short-term and long-term goals at Pratt?
SG: In the short term, I want to make sure that I continue to run a safe and lean operation. Long term I want to continue growing within Pratt. I really like the Pratt culture and the people that I get to learn from every day.
IN: When you’re not working what do you enjoy doing?
SG: I enjoy spending time with my daughter and traveling with her. Most days, we like to take walks, read, and watch movies together.
Photo Courtesy of Sofia Ghrayeb.