“This is the start of my 42nd year,” says Paul Young, owner of 64 West Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning. Young has spent more than four decades working in the plumbing industry and plans to continue down this path.
“I started as a helper for a man at the corner of my neighborhood,” Young says. “That was in 1977. Twelve years later, he had retired and I started my own business.” That business has been Young’s passion since its beginning.
Young spent two years located in the Williamsburg area. However, he soon decided to come back to the area in which he had lived since 1965. “My business is focused on Newport News and Hampton because that is where I live. However, duty calls, hence the name 64 West, because I spend a lot of my time on Interstate 64.”
Young explains that he went to college for theater and English, but feels lucky to have landed in the plumbing business instead. “It is better to be a plumbing and heating guy,” he says with a smile. He truly loves his business.
Young addresses the general stereotype against jobs such as plumbing being unfavorable, explaining that the way he looks at it makes him feel proud to be in his occupation. “People call you because they have problems. You can solve problems. I can’t make their lives better, but I can make their home more comfortable, which makes their lives better,” Young says, noting that it is the little people in life who make a big difference. “I don’t have global impact, but right here in Newport News, I’m doing my job.”
The impact that technology has had on the plumbing and heating industry has been monumental, but Young says more than anything the impact has been positive. “We’re much better off,” he explains, pointing out that the new innovations are better for the environment and help to make the field more efficient.
Young is in the process of starting a new five-year plan. There are lots of changes he is hoping to implement soon. “One day, one week, one month, one year, five years. That’s how it works,” he says with a smile. First, he wants to get new lettering on his truck, which will help with marketing. After this, he is hoping to get someone in the office to greet customers and answer phone calls. As for the long term, he says that it is time to go into “expansion mode” and hire some helpers.
Besides small changes in his company, Young wants to simply keep on providing the personalized services that he has been known for throughout his career. “I believe in the universal karma—if you put out good stuff, the universe will bring good stuff to your doorstep,” Young states. “The world is crazy right now. It is up to us little people to suit up, show up and be of good cheer.”
Young is happy to provide plumbing, heating, air conditioning, gas piping and residential services through 64 West. “We are unique because you get personalized service. When you call this company, you’re getting an answer from the president,” he says.
Outside of plumbing, Young enjoys riding motorcycles, which he has done for 35 years. “I just went across the United States for a second time! I went up to Ohio, and across Minnesota and South Dakota. I went to the Rocky Mountains, Mount Rushmore and the Badlands National Park.”
Although his time off was fun, Young was excited to return to his company and his passion. “I like what I’m doing,” he says. “This is the best track out of them all. I get up in the morning, I go to the gym, I eat the breakfast of champions, I go out and do what I like to do for people who I like in a place that I like. I’m happy, I got lucky.”
TO THE POINT:
64 West Plumbing Heating and Air Conditioning
Address: 64 West, Inc., PO Box 6206, Newport News, VA 23606
Contact: Paul Young, owner