William Ferraro Is The Employee Of The Year
As the steward of approximately 29,000 acres of land in New York City, it is almost impossible to walk a few blocks in any direction without encountering one of the nearly 1,000 playgrounds in the Parks system. With this many playgrounds, it is more than likely that generation after generation of New York City’s children spend their youth developing motor, athletic, and social skills in a Parks playground.
With the amount of children that use playgrounds each year, two major concerns are to keep them clean and to keep them safe. This year’s Employee of the Year knows a thing or two about keeping the playgrounds of Queens safe.
William “Bill” Ferraro is a Maintenance Worker and has been with Parks since April 30, 1984. He began his career as a seasonal Plumber’s Helper in Manhattan before being appointed permanent Maintenance Worker in 1986 when he was assigned to Queens. Bill has also periodically served as a seasonal Parks Supervisor and he continues to shine within the borough.
Bill uses all of his maintenance and supervisory experience to assist the borough as he meticulously inspects and repairs the playground equipment in Queens. However, Bill’s dedication goes well beyond simply inspecting and fixing the equipment; he recommends best practices for repairs in the borough, works with IT to ensure that hand-held equipment and AMPS are functioning properly and conducts hands-on training for staff.
Bill has gone above and beyond by contacting manufacturers to discuss warranty issues and have defective equipment replaced at no cost to the Agency. Bill even identified an issue with spring steel tempers that were causing the seat portions of our J-Swings to snap apart. Bill brought his findings to the manufacturer, Jensen Swing, who replaced all 351 swings at no cost to Parks. The manufacturer then went on to make changes to their ADA swings based on Bill’s findings. In fact, several manufacturers are working to redesign and improve products based on Bill’s findings and recommendations.
Recently, borough and district supervisors began requesting appointments with Bill to gain insight into the way he addresses play equipment concerns. This is no wonder as Queens’ playground equipment continues to log stellar ratings. Over the past five years, playground equipment unacceptability in Queens has dropped by over 10%, reaching a low of 3.2% this fiscal year. Bill is an invaluable member of the Queens team and the diligence he brings to his work is an example for us all.
Bill was honored as the Employee of the Year at the recent Parks Annual Awards Ceremony.
QUOTATION FOR THE DAY
“The one function TV news performs very well is that when there is no news we give it to you with the same emphasis as if there were.”
(1920 - 2003)