Quality Products’ Ricky McCraw Becomes Compass Precision Employee of the Month

Ricky McCraw could be retired. If Trane had its way, he would be. But instead, Ricky is responsible for shipping and receiving at Quality Products & Machine, LLC.

For his contributions, Compass Precision has named Ricky its Employee of the Month for June.

While he isn’t one of the most tenured employees at Quality Products, shipping and receiving is nothing new to Ricky. He’s been in the field for nearly half a century, which makes him one of the most experienced Compass employees. Amazingly, his long career includes just three full-time jobs at three companies — Pneumafil, Trane and Quality Products.

Ricky began working for Pneumafil in 1974 after trying several other lines of work, such as in a production line, paint department and cotton mill, on a part-time basis. He says none of them kept his interest, but within a year in the shipping and receiving department at Pneumafil, Ricky found his calling.

“When I got my first shipping job, I felt like, ‘This is it. This is what you want to do,’” said Ricky. “It just seemed to win me over, and I’ve been doing it ever since.”

He stayed at Pneumafil for 20 years before moving on to Trane. After another two decades, Trane asked Ricky to retire, but he says he was not ready to stop working. So he worked two part-time jobs until finding his next shipping and receiving opportunity, which came at Quality Products in Dec. 2014.

In some ways, his career saved the best for last. From a working environment perspective, Ricky says Quality Products is “the best job” he’s ever had.

“The people I work for are great. They pretty much give me what I need to do my job, and pretty much let me do my job the way I feel like it needs to be done. If there’s any difference, they come and tell me, and we sit down and talk about it,” said Ricky. “They don’t come back here and say, ‘Oh, we ain’t doing it that way.’ It’s not that way here. They come and talk to me and say ‘Hey, what do you think about doing it this way.’”

There are many things Ricky likes about working in shipping and receiving, but his favorite is how the position allows him a first-hand view of the machined parts both before and after the work is completed.

“I get to see [the product] when it comes in as raw materials, and then once it gets all the way through, I get to see what it looks like before it goes out the door as a finished product. It still sometimes amazes me that they can take a flat piece of metal and then make whatever out of it.”

Ricky apparently likes longevity in both his work and personal life. He’s been married to his wife, Sue, for 42 years. The couple have two daughters, Katherina and Rebecca, five grandsons, one granddaughter and two great grandsons. Ricky spends a lot of his free time with his family.

“My fun and my whole life are based around my family. My family is my life.”

Ricky described that one of their favorite activities to do as a family is hold cookouts and watch movies outside on his projector screen in the summer. A couple months ago, Ricky took his two youngest grandsons on vacation to Universal Studios.

Despite all that love, though, Ricky still doesn’t sound like he’s ready to retire. He even joked about working 20 years at Quality Products as he did at Pneumafil and Trane (that would happen in Dec. 2034).

“I’m hoping!”