Inside Seven
Current Issue: September 2014
Employee Spotlight
Ernie Trujillo can always be found at his desk waiting for the opportunity to help others.

by  Jeanne Bonfilio
Issue Date: 02/2007

Service Above and Beyond the Call of Duty!

For everyone who calls the Office of Traffic Operations, whether a co-worker or a member of the public with a question, it isn’t unusual to hear a very helpful voice.  That’s because on the other end of the line, it’s Ernie Trujillo eager to help!  As the resident Office Technician, he’s been helping people there for over twelve years.   

Fielding the varied internal calls and abundant external inquiries from the motoring public, Trujillo always takes time to make the extra effort to ensure that the calls end up in the right hands, where staff members and engineers can help.  “I get so many different types of questions,” he said, “about everything from on-ramps and off-ramps, to congestion, signage, striping, traffic controls and ramp meters -- even calls regarding city streets especially now that Los Angeles Department of Transportation shares our new facility.”  Whatever the issue, Trujillo makes sure they are routed to the right place.  That is important to him, because he cares about Caltrans, its employees and customers.    “Ernie Trujillo is an exceptional employee!” said Ed Shiao, Senior Transportation Engineer and Trujillo’s Supervisor.

Trujillo began his long career with the state of California in 1970 at the Department of Health Services.  After four years, he transferred to Caltrans as an Assistant Supervisor in Personnel in 1974.  There, Trujillo performed data entry for payroll, assisted with the testing process and processed thousands of personnel documents.  Throughout it all, he has always been known as someone with a warm and friendly demeanor -- always providing the most excellent customer service.  “He provides service above and beyond the call of duty,” added Shiao.

One of the biggest changes over the years, he commented, was the day when computers came to Caltrans.  “When I started working at Caltrans, everything was done by hand, or typed,” said Trujillo.  “What a difference it made when we were able to put all of those thousands of personnel records on the computer!” 

The District Personnel office closed in the fall of 1995; it was then that he transferred to Traffic Operations, where he has remained ever since.  Now located on the 5th floor of the District Office Building, Trujillo also handles an influx of emails, performs heavy filing, processes incoming public inquiries through the U. S. mail and also performs computer data entry.  Though he works hard, what he is known for most is his kindness and helpfulness. 

When he’s not busy helping people at work, Trujillo’s favorite pastimes are listening to music and caring for twelve horses on his ranch.  “I really enjoy taking care of my horses,” he said.  He also takes great pride in his career at Caltrans and appreciates his co-workers as well.  “Traffic Operations personnel and engineering staff are all fantastic!” he said.  “They always have the answers that the public is looking for.  Working for Caltrans is great!

Neither rain nor sleet nor driving snow can keep Ernie Trujillo from delivering the mail on time.