Paradise Lost and Found: Rising Up From The Ashes

September 23, 2021

PALM BEACH GARDENS, FL—To rise like a phoenix from the ashes, in this case, the catastrophic Camp Fire (national disaster) in Paradise, CA, takes a person with enormous fortitude. That person, David Astrup became the Labor Finders / LF Staffing 11th Annual Employee of the Year award winner.

“Since its inception a decade ago, the entries received have proven that our temporary associates are the best in the staffing industry! This award is a great way for us to recognize the very best of the best! These days, we may have a few less associates, but many have loyally braved the pandemic and are deserving of recognition more than ever!” stated Dan Shube, Chief Marketing Officer for Labor Finders International.

The Labor Finders judging committee were all in agreement that David Astrup was the most deserving to win this years’ coveted award; all due to the strength and fortitude he possesses.

Although David Astrup and some of his immediate family lost everything to the fire, his attitude was surprisingly positive. After the fire, he had been staying with relatives in the San Francisco Bay area, but he truly wanted to find work near his burned hometown of Paradise…David needed to get back home.

The Labor Finders Chico office immediately placed David in a janitorial position where he was responsible for the upkeep of a 1,500 persons mobile base camp; that housed and fed those who were working on the massive post-fire cleanup phase of the rebuilding of Paradise. Along with David, the Chico office placed around 200 employees to work at the site. At the end of the project David was the Last Man Standing, assisting with the tear-down and cleanup of the mobile camp.

It was easy to place David in several other projects ranging from palletizing heavy bottles of liquids and then as a driver shuttling vehicles between locations hundreds of miles apart. For the past year, David has been working at a long-term position as a skilled painter and is now training new employees for Hill Properties.

On discovering that Labor Finders was awarding our yearly Employee of the Year awards, Sean Coon, the Maintenance Supervisor for Hill Properties wrote an in-depth letter praising David. “I really feel the need to raise my hand HIGH and say MINE!!! I need you to recognize MY Labor Finders Team member David Astrup!” Some of the points Sean made was:

  • David is responsible for painting the interiors and exteriors of hundreds of apartments
  • Coordinating with our residents and maintenance staff
  • Filling out in-depth reports
  • Training other employees to use our online record keeping system

Sean also noted that around March of this year David was involved in a car crash that totaled his car. The following day David met with Sean and said, “I don’t have a car right now, but I will figure it out.” Sean never heard of the hardship again, but he did daily monitor the situation. “David, so engrained himself into our team that over the course of those four months our team members happily went out of their way to get him from point A to point B. Why? Because David Astrup is an amazing and selfless person himself.” Sean finished his letter by stating, “I deeply appreciate that Labor Finders works so hard to find, cultivate and provide such amazing talent to our workforce like David!”

On Thanksgiving of 2020 David brought the Chico office a very special gift, a hand-written letter of thanks and an explanation of what his partnership with Labor Finders has meant to him. This young man was teetering on the edge when he met the staff at a job fair in April of 2019. To say that 2018 was a rough year was and is an understatement: he lost four family members, then went through a mental breakdown and then his hometown was destroyed by the Campfire. What is truly remarkable is that David credits the Chico office staff with saving his life. “You helped me reach my goals and regained a sense of inner peace that I haven’t had in years. I am forever grateful to have met all of you.”

Geena Day, the Assistant Branch Manager for the Chico, CA office, nominated David, “We are so thrilled that David was chosen as this year's winner! He is such a deserving young man, and his story is extremely touching. He is shining example of resilience and we are blessed to have played a part in changing his life for the better. The David’s of the world are the reason I love working in this industry. We get to help people change their lives and it feels AMAZING. Congrats to all the winners, and thanks to our company for understanding how important recognition is!”

What is also amazing is that most top executives of large corporations very rarely make it part of their work experience to have face time with their employees. That is not the case with Labor Finders. Jeffrey Burnett, CEO and Amit Singh, President will both be in Chico to meet with David on October 1st.

About Labor Finders International:

Since 1975 Labor Finders International, Inc., a franchise company is the country’s oldest and largest privately held industrial labor staffing company in the United States. For twelve consecutive years Labor Finders has received top honors in the ClearlyRated Best of Staffing Client competition, giving Labor Finders the exclusive Double Diamond Award. Labor Finders operates almost 200 offices nationwide with a strong tradition of leadership as the country’s top name and resource in the business of temporary industrial staffing Labor Finders is a proud member of the American Staffing Association (ASA).

Labor Finders strength comes from the commitment of locally operated staffing offices that consistently satisfy their customers, while demonstrating their core values everyday: Respect, Appreciation and Safety. The mission is simple: treat temporary employees and customers fairly.

Note to the Media:

If you would like more information on Labor Finders or to interview David Astrup, Jeff Burnett, Amit Singh and or Geena Day, please contact, Celina Klee, Public Relations Manager at my direct line: 561-273-8226 or by email at: Also, please visit our website at


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