Empowered By Printing
SOMETIMES, YOUR career path has a way of sneaking up on you when you least expect it. Take, for instance, David Estes, Printing Services coordinator at East Kentucky Power Cooperative (EKPC), in Winchester, Ky. Estes admits he didn't know what the future held when he enrolled as an undeclared student at Eastern Kentucky University."When I went to college I didn't know what I wanted to major in," Estes recalls. "I got involved in industrial technology classes, and I saw the printing department. I started taking printing classes, and it all took off from there."
Estes cut his teeth in the printing field by producing personal projects like memo pads and business cards in the college print shop. Money was tight, so he was moonlighting at a local factory as a quality inspector while going to school. But an interest in printing was starting to bloom for the Kentucky native.
"I really just liked the process," Estes contends. "I liked working with ink and paper. The whole printing process really intrigued me."
In 1981, while still a student, Estes heard about a job opening at EKPC. He decided it was time to enter the working world, and left school to take the position of junior printer at the power cooperative's in-plant. Estes started out printing forms and employee magazines on the shop's old ABDick and Davidson presses. Now, after 28 years at the same shop, the industry veteran wouldn't change a thing.
EKPC represents 16 electric cooperatives that provide service to more than 500,000 customers in 87 counties of central and eastern Kentucky. Estes runs the one-man in-plant, where he has risen through the ranks from junior printer, to printer, to his current position, which he has held for more than 20 years.
"The printer that was here when I was hired moved into another position within the company," Estes says. "So now I am the only printer here." East Kentucky Power Cooperative does employ a graphic designer, but Estes handles all of the company's in-house printing needs.