Pine Ridge Industries (PRI), a division of Schenectady ARC, operates a warehouse and production facility in Scotia, New York that employs people with disabilities. PRI’s 15,000 sq. ft. facility is equipped with a cleanroom and serves companies such as VistaLab Technologies, a Putnam County-based manufacturer of sterile pipette tips that are used by laboratories in the fight against COVID-19. FuzeHub introduced VistaLab to PRI, which now packages the pipette tips and assembles lab kits for distribution. With help from a FuzeHub grant, PRI is also helping Vista Lab to scale up production.
Carmen Luciano, a production worker, performs cleanroom assembly and packaging at PRI. Moreover, he says he does it “with a smile on his face”. A native of Schenectady, Carmen graduated from Schenectady High School in 2012 and worked at Camp Lovejoy in Altamont, New York and at a local Price Chopper before joining Pine Ridge. At Camp Lovejoy, the Boys & Girls Club of Schenectady’s Summer Day Camp, Carmen says he “did everything” and was “hands-on”. This same flexibility and willingness to roll up his sleeves served him well at Price Chopper, where he worked in the front end and stocked shelves overnight.
Today, Carmen can recite his PRI start date (April 16, 2012) by heart and still enjoys working there as his ten-year anniversary approaches. “I enjoy learning new stuff,” he explains, and is “willing to take on tasks that I’ve never done before.” When Carmen started at Pine Ridge, he worked in the warehouse. His responsibilities have changed since then, but he’s still willing to help wherever he can. “We all work great together”, he says of the PRI team.
When Carmen isn’t working, he enjoys spending time at Saratoga Racetrack for “the atmosphere” and to “see the people in their hats”, part of a tradition of elegant attire at the nation’s oldest thoroughbred racetrack. “I’m a person who likes to try and stay busy,” he adds, and his work ethic and flexibility are just some of the reasons why Pine Ridge Industries is fortunate to have Carmen Luciano.