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An Opportunity for a Second Chance

Perfection Industrial Finishing has a remarkable way of cultivating its workforce: It hires people as they leave the prison system and reenter society.
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A key differentiator that sets a shop apart is how it values and supports the team that runs its operation. Photo Credit: Perfection Industrial Finishing

Standout finishing shops make a commitment to continuous improvement not only in the production lines they run, but in the operators and skilled workforce that keeps product moving out the door. A key differentiator that sets a shop apart is how it values and supports the team that runs its operation. Perfection Industrial Finishing (Tucson, Arizona) is one shop that excels at this, and the shop has grown drastically since its humble beginnings as a small auto body paint shop that Founder Charles Zinke started out of his garage.

Perfection’s headquarters in Tucson specializes in passivation, anodizing, powder and liquid coating, cerakote ceramic coating, silk screening and sandblasting. Around two years ago, Perfection opened a second location near Phoenix to diversify its business and better serve a major customer in the manufacture of payload transport replacement (PTR) vehicles. The new location features a high-end, 20' × 20' × 60' spray booth that can coat large parts such as semi-trailer components.

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From its two Arizona locations, Perfection primarily serves the aerospace, defense and semiconductor industries, and the shop also provides finishing work for electric vehicle components, medical products and more. The shop currently holds Nadcap, AS9100, ISO and ITAR certifications.

Parts about to got through a painting booth.

Perfection’s new location near Phoenix, Arizona, features a high-end, 20' × 20' × 60' spray booth that can coat large parts such as semi-trailer components. Photo Credit: Perfection Industrial Finishing

Perfection finishes parts from a wide range of territory, including Arizona, the Bay Area, Southern California, Salt Lake City, Albuquerque, West Texas and down into Mexico. The key to maintaining this network is consistent communication with its customers, and Perfection set a company-wide goal among its employees to respond to any inquiries they receive within two hours of contact. “When you provide good communication to your customers and a good quality product, they keep coming back,” Toni Gauna, Perfection’s director of operations, says.

Zinke and Gauna make it clear that none of it would be possible without the team owning their roles and keeping their foot on the gas. The shop makes an effort to take care of its employees. Zinke says, “I think it’s key that the employees are — and feel that they are — taken care of the best that we can, because then they’re going to take the best care they can of our customers, and it comes full circle.”

Opportunity knocks

Perfection’s leadership has a remarkable way of finding its employees: They give a second chance to people as they leave the prison system and reenter society.

The Second Chance Tucson program trains and educates inmates on trades, making sure they have an employable skillset once they leave prison. Perfection takes an active role in this program, and Gauna says, “Next week we’re going into the federal prison for mock interviews, résumé critiques and to give people advice about making the right choices and being successful in the community.”

Gauna leads the search for candidates, and she says that between 63 to 70% of Perfection’s workforce comes from the Second Chance program. “We’ve been very successful and teaching new skills and new trades to be successful and take care of their families,” she says. “It fills the ‘soul’ part of the job.”

“Toni has been phenomenal at finding diamonds in the rough,” Zinke says. “It’s hard to put your finger on it, but when you meet those people, you know they’re looking for an opportunity. They’ve paid their debt to society and they really want to change their life.” He adds, “Some of my key people have been found through that program.”

Gauna offers to be a resource to any other manufacturers that are interested in participating in the Second Chance Coalition, and as recognition for its efforts, the City of Tucson named Perfection as “Second Chance Employer of the Year” in 2018.

“It doesn’t matter if you come out of school with a master’s degree or you come out of prison after 20 years in the prison system, you’re still a human being,” Zinke concludes. “You still deserve respect and opportunity.”

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