Mark Curtis commonly spends thousands and thousands of {dollars} as CEO of Splash Automotive Wash, constructing new areas in Connecticut, New York and Vermont.

However whereas state-of-the-art tools at his areas is necessary, it’s the human part, the those who work at Splash, that maintain clients coming again, in keeping with Curtis.

He and his group at Splash have to be doing one thing proper. The Milford-based firm is one in every of perennial winners amongst midsize employers with 150 to 499 folks in southern and western Connecticut. This 12 months, there have been 17 midsize corporations receiving the Hearst Connecticut Media High Workplaces award — and Splash got here out on the No. 1 winner for the second straight 12 months.

The No. 2 finisher is Connecticut In Residence Help, based mostly in Stratford and No. 3 is Barnum Monetary Group with its fundamental workplace in Shelton.

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No. 1: Splash Automotive Wash

Workers in area: 400

Headquarters: Milford

No. 2: Connecticut In Residence Help

Workers in area: 150

Headquarters: Stratford

No. 3: Barnum Monetary Group

Workers in area: 218

Headquarters: Shelton

At Splash, Curtis stated the significance of getting good workers “is to present folks the proper of expertise every time they arrive in.”

“Individuals are all the time going to have questions, even at a totally automated wash,” Curtis stated.

Nelson Perez of Watertown has labored for Splash for 4 years. Perez was busy throughout a latest weekday afternoon on the firm’s brand-new East Haven location, serving to motorists choose which wash bundle they needed.

After drivers paid for the wash, he then helped them navigate the automated system that opens a gate permitting them to drive ahead to start the washing course of.

“I feel folks actually like the eye, the assistance that I give them,” Perez stated. “And actually I like what I do.”

Frank Rossi began working for Splash in 2007 as an oil change technician within the firm’s West Haven location. Inside a 12 months, Curtis had promoted him to an assistant supervisor and three years after that, Rossi was operating the situation.

By 2014, Rossi had superior to regional supervisor answerable for oil modifications. Now he’s a regional supervisor answerable for new start-up operations.

Rossi was working alongside aspect Perez early in September, serving to clients navigate the fee system. Rossi recalled when he first began working at Splash greater than a decade in the past, he acquired “an actual household vibe” from his new office.

“I met Mark inside two weeks of getting began and I assumed, ‘Wow, you don’t typically get to fulfill the CEO of an organization so shortly,’” he stated. “I used to be impressed by that. And lots of how I really feel about the place I work comes all the way down to on a regular basis interplay. A whole lot of the folks I work with are my mates along with being colleagues.”

Curtis prides himself on realizing his workers by title. Splash employs greater than 1,000 folks throughout 55 areas company-wide and a bit greater than 400 in Connecticut.

“You rent for perspective and practice for expertise,” Curtis stated. “You do not need to rent a curmudgeon, somebody who doesn’t smile. Ninety-five p.c of individuals need to do a superb job; all of it comes all the way down to being skilled to do a superb job.”

Curtis stated the favored public notion of working in a automotive wash “is usually labeled as a final resort, dead-end job.”

“However we’ve acquired lots of guys who began out vacuuming vehicles and now they’re managing a few of our websites,” he stated. “We’ve been blessed with extraordinarily low turnover.”

Nashua Senior, a New Haven teenager, hopes to be Splash’s subsequent success story. Not too long ago employed to work on the East Haven location, Senior’s job is to assist clients use the automotive wash’s free vacuuming stations and ensure the suction energy doesn’t diminish due to clogged hoses.

“Somebody is my household used to work for Splash and he stated it was a superb place to work,” Senior stated.

Kyle Whelan of East Haven began working at Splash three weeks in the past. Earlier than taking the job, he had labored an everyday in a single day shift on the Harbor Freight Instruments ironmongery store in Orange.

“I don’t have a automotive proper now and it made it actually onerous to get to and from work at the moment of day,” Whelan stated. “Plus, I’ve gotta admit that I take pleasure in working when the solar is out.”

Whelan stated one other advantage of his new job is attending to see all several types of vehicles.

“I actually like something to do with cars, so I figured why not work at one thing that includes one in every of my passions,” he stated.

Curtis is increasing the Splash empire, which now has 19 of its areas in Connecticut, by constructing new automotive washes in addition to buying current ones. He stated he tries every time attainable to retain workers of automotive washes the corporate acquires.

“We love taking up skilled workers, even when they’ve been skilled improperly earlier than,” Curtis stated. “It’s simpler to retrain than change them.”

Days when it rains or every time there’s a lull in buyer exercise are used to coach workers, he stated.

“Rain days are practice days,” Curtis quipped.

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