LATHROP – Ramiro Gonzales is a jack-of-all-trades.
As a maintenance worker for the City of Lathrop – a job he has held for the last 11 years – a typical day on the job can involve anything from pouring a concrete slab to removing graffiti.
His skills come from the 25 years he’s spent in the Laborers Union. He enjoys the variety of tasks that he tackles on a daily basis to help keep the cogs in Lathrop’s wheels moving without interruption.
“I enjoy everything that happens with my job,” Gonzales said. “I get to do work for the people, and it keeps me busy. There’s always something to do, and I’m happy with what it is that I do.”
A native of Sazacatecas, Mexico – a community located 60 miles from Guadalajara – Gonzalez immigrated to the United States in 1971 and settled in the Bay Area. After getting married he moved to the Central Valley and took a job with the City of Lathrop where he could ply his skills in a variety of ways.
And just about anything having to do with city upkeep falls onto his plate.
Park landscaping and maintenance, street repair, carpentry, cement masonry and janitorial work are all part of his routine, and the fact that the job changes from day-to-day offers variety that Gonzalez enjoys.
“I have things that I do on a routine and then other things come up that we have to do,” he said. “That’s what makes the job different. That’s what I enjoy.”
When he isn’t maintaining the parks of Lathrop or painting over the graffiti that vandals have left behind throughout town, Gonzalez likes to spend his time practicing his rodeo skills on his ranch in French Camp. He practices his roping skills as he gears up for the events he travels to on the weekends.
It’s a great opportunity, he says, to spend time with his friends and unwind after a long workweek.
“It’s something that I’ve been doing all my life,” Gonzalez said. “I’m going to rodeos every two weeks and sometimes every weekend. It’s what I love to do.”
But when it comes time to clock back in on Monday, Gonzalez says it’s time for him to focus on the tasks he needs to do – taking pride in his work.
“I like the City of Lathrop. The people here are really nice,” he said. “Doing something for the people is great.”