Working: Syracuse is an explorative journey into the lives of Syracuse workers. Modeled after a series of interviews conducted by renowned reporter and journalist Studs Terkel, Working: Syracuse aims to depict the diverse narratives of local professionals and provide insight into their everyday lives. Ultimately, these conversations are thoughtful, meaningful, and will teach everyone who listens something about themselves and their connection to other people through the common lens of work.
E01: The Printing Press Operator
Meet printing press operator Robert Glahn, who works for Eastwood Litho, which is based in Lyncourt on the city's Northside. Founded in 1946 by Justin F. Mohr, a veteran of the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, Eastwood Litho has served the Syracuse area for more than 70 years and is now owned by grandsons of the founder. For the last three years, Glahn has been in charge of running the company's two Heidelberg printing presses. He works as a frontender and is responsible for all of the technical tweaks and artistic judgments that inform the end product. The color balance, saturation, and sharpness of the ink on the paper all fall on him. Now 53, Glahn's been doing this job since high school. He serves as the mechanic who enjoys tinkering with the machines when they break and the artist who controls every aspect of the graphic output.
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E02: The Hairstylist
Meet Mirvat Essi Sande, owner and sole hairstylist of Salon 515, which sits in the heart of Westcott Nation, an eclectic neighborhood known for attracting students, young professionals, artists, and activists. Inside, the salon resembles an apartment, which Sande designed to create the sense that clients were entering her home, and the conversations flow freely. Whether it's a restaurant recommendation, the president's latest tweet, or an escape destination for her or her client's next vacation, Sande enjoys and encourages conversation. Two additional businesses — Munjed's and Mom's Diner — on that three-block stretch, are also owned by relatives of Essi Sande, who moved from Jordan to the neighborhood with her 10 siblings in 1968.
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E03: The Superintendent
Meet Zheadric Barbra, Assistant Superintendent of School Reform at Syracuse City School District. Barbra is responsible for the improvement of Syracuse's 37 public schools. He credits his mother, who raised him and his four brothers by herself while working manual-labor jobs and depending on food stamps, as the source of much of his determination and his belief in education. He says she raised him and his brothers with this central philosophy: "There's no other option than what you have in front of you. You can't not do well. There's no other option." She also instilled in him the belief that education serves as the cornerstone of a good life. Barbara has applied these lessons to his own education, career, and experience with fatherhood, and he tries to pass along these beliefs to the students whose educational experience he oversees.
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E04: The Butcher
Meet Sean Williamson, a butcher for Liehs and Steigerwald on Grant Boulevard. Williamson didn't set out to be a butcher. In fact, it took years of college as an art major and thousands of tuition dollars before he decided to pursue something with more immediate, tangible results. That desire led him to his job making sausage for a specialty butcher shop, a position he's held for almost a decade. Williamson's job description includes being the butcher, manager, and general everyman at Liehs and Steigerwald, which has served Syracuse's Northside community for more than 80 years.
Visit www.workingsyracuse.com for more content on Williamson.
E05: The Police Officer
Meet police officer Leonard Brown, who has served on the force since 2011. About 18 months ago, he joined the elite Crime Reduction Team (CRT) within the Syracuse Police Department. With headquarters located on Erie Boulevard East, the CRT is a proactive, 12-man unit that has focused on fighting some of the city's toughest issues since 2005: drugs, guns, and gang violence. He enjoys the physical nature of his work, which reminds him of what he loved about sports when he was younger. As a teenager, Brown lived for the thrill of scoring touchdowns. Now, he gets his adrenaline rush from putting on a different kind of uniform every day.
Visit our website for extra content on Brown: www.workingsyracuse.com
E06: The Zookeeper
Meet Dan Meates, a zookeeper at Rosamond Gifford Zoo. When the zoo was founded in 1914, just a handful of animals called the four-acre facility their home. Now, more than 700 diverse species reside in the zoo's 43 acres. As a general curator, Meates oversees specialized zookeepers who care for the expansive variety of species. But as a master falconer, Meates' speciality in birds of prey means he spends more time in that area of the zoo. All who work at the zoo, including Meates, consider animal conservation the primary goal of their work.
Visit www.workingsyracuse.com for more content on Meates.