The owner of an auto complex in the Utah city of Price is working to improve his community one oil change at a time.
When Joe Piccolo was young he wanted to be an aeronautical engineer. Instead, he graduated from college with a degree in auto mechanics and created his own auto complex with the funds from a $420 tax return. Now he employs 20 people, trying to give them the financial backing to comfortably support their families.
What makes Joe Piccolo especially unique? While he is running and testing auto engines, he’s also running the city.
Piccolo is mayor of Price and has been for more than a decade. As mayor, he uses the same theory he does in his auto complex: He helps others pursue the American dream.
Piccolo describes Price as a place where you can expect a full day’s work for a full day’s pay. He also says it’s a place where someone will share the money out of his back pocket to help another in need.
While Piccolo develops the skills of those who work in his shop, he is hoping to help develop their lives. He explains that he considers those in his shop as “family.” Along with the cars that he is paid to fix is a van from the community non-profit Boys and Girls Club which he has offered to help maintain free of charge. He is also storing an old parade float that he figures the youth in the community may want to use it again.
Piccolo explained it like this, “This is my family and I want it to grow.”
Just as he nurtures the relationship with his wife, children and grandchildren, he sees an opportunity to help his community. The mayor says it’s what he loves.
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