Whitehall-Coplay Press

Monday, June 18, 2018
David A. Sonon Copyright - Lloyd K. Lutz David A. Sonon Copyright - Lloyd K. Lutz

Cement Worker of the Month

Wednesday, January 17, 2018 by Ed Pany Curator, Atlas Cement Company Memorial Museum in Local News

David A. Sonon

Mr. David Sonon was reared in Windsor Township, Berks County. As a youth, he worked on the neighbor’s farm, helping to milk and harvest crops. He attended Hamburg High School and was hired by Boscov’s to work in its warehouse at $3 an hour.

He recalled, “After later working in construction, I was hired by Ogden-Allied as a laborer to work for them at Allentown Cement in Evansville, now Lehigh Heidelberg. I was given a full-time job at the cement company in 1990.”

Mr. Sonon has worked as a lab sampler, miller, material handler, truck driver and shift repairman.

He said, “I attended Berks Technical School for two nights each week for four years to become a certified journeyman electrician.”

Today, Dave is an industrial electrician, working and maintaining the plant’s electrical components, including 3500-HP motors. The hardworking eight-member electrical gang is supervised by David Young. They are all fine men.

He said, “I have great camaraderie with my co-workers. Each day on the job is different. There is always a challenge to be solved, and there is satisfaction when the job is completed.”

On a number of occasions, Dave and fellow employees remained at the plant for over 30 hours during winter blizzards. The entrance was closed for days.

Safety is a priority at the plant. Each morning, supervisor Young updates the men on all safety issues. The objective is to operate the plant in a safe and efficient manner.

Mr. Sonon has a strong work ethic, following his father, Lester, who was employed at the old Fogelsville Lehigh Plant. He and his brother Benjamin work on restoring old farm equipment, a prize piece being a 1914 Peerless-Geiser steam engine in their spare time. They are active at the Kutztown Folk Festival with the Old Plow Boys, Virginville Grange and numerous tractor and gun clubs.

Mr. Sonon is proud of his daughter, Jaclyn. He resides in Centerport. David embodies the work values that have always been an integral part of our local cement heritage.

It was a pleasure to interview Mr. Sonon, and we wish him good health and success in the future. We all hope for a safe and prosperous 2018 for all the employees at the landmark plant.