January 01, 2001

Jesus Alvarez’s career actually predates the Pull-A-Part name. He worked for Pull-A-Part’s predecessor, Central Metals, nearly 20 years ago. When that company was sold to new owners, the founders brought him on to assist with a new venture they called Pull-A-Part. Initially, he remembers being surprised at the quality of the vehicles considered to be scrapped — he’d get excited every time he saw a nice vehicle come in — but eventually, he became accustomed to the nature of the business.

“It was a different experience than the scrap yard, because it’s all about dealing with people,” Alvarez said. “After a year and a half, I started seeing a chance for growth. They were looking at opening new stores. I was offered a job back at the scrap yard, but I decided to stay because of the chance of moving up.”

Alvarez used his bilingual skills to communicate with customers and employees. Today, as Pull-A-Part Birmingham store manager, he guides new hires with advice that served him well.

“Always do it right,” Alvarez said. “Always try to help other people, even if you’re not told to do it. Show what you can do, and somebody will recognize it.”

Meet Jesus

Jesus Alvarez has worked in scrap yards since he was about 16 years old. He enjoys working with heavy equipment and forklifts, so when he heard about Pull-A-Part in early 2000, he was interested – especially because the new store proudly used bilingual marketing materials. He thought working at Pull-A-Part would be similar to working at a scrapyard, but was surprised at the amount of cars that were bought and how easily people would scrap a car.

“Where I come from, people hold onto their cars and will let them rust before junking them,” Alvarez said. “But I think we help a lot of people continue with their lives by providing a low-cost place to keep their cars going. In this country, if you don’t have a car, you can miss a lot.”

Alvarez has four kids, who keep him busy all the time. His favorite vehicle is his Toyota Tacoma, which has 347,000 miles. It’s soon to begin a new journey: it will be his daughter’s truck as she goes off to college.