It’s a question John Stephenson hears a lot when he tells people he meets that he manages a print shop for the Delaware River Port Authority for a living.
"I think they are surprised to realize how much printing we do for the Authority,'' says John. "Even on the digital side of the industry, we are involved on many levels.” - John Stephenson
A transportation organization that connects millions of people annually requires a lot of printed items. These items include PATCO train timetables, annual reports, police department forms, and engineering documents. Located at the Ben Franklin Bridge administration building, the in-house print shop produces 95 percent of the agency's printed material at cost savings and quick turnaround.
John Stephenson began his journey at DRPA in 2000 after spending the early part of his career working in the commercial printing industry. He was drawn to working at the DRPA for learning and growth opportunities.
“The agency offered an unparalleled opportunity to develop my craft further and strengthen my leadership skills through its tuition reimbursement program,” says John.
The importance DRPA places on personal growth and professional development enable its employees to assess their skills and abilities, consider their aims in life, and set goals to realize and maximize their true potential.
In 2019, John earned a Certified Graphic Communication Manager (CGCM) designation from the In-Plant Printing and Mailing Association (IPMA). This national credential is the highest honor of professional achievement available for in-house print managers.
John is a resident of Gloucester County and a graduate of the Camden County Technical Schools. Outside work, he enjoys traveling with his wife and spending quality time with his two daughters and four grandkids.
John is also an avid Dallas Cowboys fan, so it is important to note that we are one team at work, but on game days, it’s a different story.
After working in the commercial printing industry in a sole proprietorship, I was excited about the possibility to work at a place where growth, development, and promotion are encouraged and nurtured through a variety of educational resources.
Exciting! As I looked around the shop, I recognized every piece of equipment and knew that this was going to be a natural transition to my career here at the Authority.
When I realized that there were only a limited number of years before my supervisor retired, I began by telling him that I was interested in the career path training offered by the Human Resource Library and that I eventually wanted to become a Certified Graphic Communications Manager (CGCM), a credential offered by the In-plant Printing & Mailing Association (IPMA). This is an industry gold standard which I worked very hard to achieve and which I eventually did in July of 2019.
The Authority offers so much to its employees, join us, and the benefits will immediately improve you as a person and with your individual career goals. I love the additional possibilities, like volunteering for LARC Runs, mock drills, blood drives, and other employee activities. The Authority values us as employees and has our backs.
Modeling The Way highlights rising leaders within DRPA & PATCO who began their careers in an entry-level position and have risen to a supervisory role. These employees have graciously offered to share a personal look at their career journey and their important role in achieving our stewardship mission.
DRPA & PATCO are committed to investing in employees and providing opportunities for career advancement. Since 2014, more than 170 employees have been promoted to higher level positions at the agency.