Meet Michael Robinson, Founder of PAP Technologies

In celebration of Black History Month, Fig is partnering with Tyrone Miller, CEO of Lancaster Works, for a special four-part series as he shines a spotlight on successful Black entrepreneurs in Lancaster.

In celebration of Black History Month, Fig is partnering with Tyrone Miller, CEO of Lancaster Works, for a special four-part series as he shines a spotlight on successful Black entrepreneurs in Lancaster by sharing their stories.

Happy Black History Month, Fig readers! I’m Tyrone Miller, the CEO of Lancaster County’s first and only Social Enterprise B Corporation staffing agency, which happens to be Black-owned. I started Lancaster Works to remove barriers to employment by providing our diverse population equitable access to the support and resources required to establish a truly inclusive economy that works for everyone.

As I go about my work, I thought about how could I do something to acknowledge the contributions other Black business owners are making to our local economy. My friends at Fig magazine have graciously offered their platform as a way for me to publicly celebrate a few of Lancaster’s courageous Black Entrepreneurs. My heartfelt thanks go out to Fig. With that said, let the celebration begin!

Michael Robinson was born in the early 1950s in a very rough section of Washington D.C. His hard-working parents moved there from rural Virginia in search of the opportunities that were not afforded minorities in the south. However, the opportunity of employment was accompanied by the overwhelming probability for Michael and his older brother to get into trouble. Having lived a frugal lifestyle, Michael’s father used his savings to purchase a small farm near Mercersburg, Pennsylvania to move his family away from the danger they found in urban life at the time. Still in need of providing for the family, his father remained in D.C. to ensure his family’s financial security, forced to move in with relatives and visit his family on the weekends.

This arrangement left Michael, his mother, and brother to take care of the farm and each other. Inspired by his father’s work ethic and these experiences, Michael came to realize the value of hard work and sacrifice. One of those formative experiences included Michael, his father, and brother replacing their outhouse with an indoor bathroom. His hard work and desire to move away from the manual labor required of farm life took him to the classroom where he excelled academically.

His academic success gained him admission to Lycoming College where he chose to major in business. Even though he knew nothing of the business world, he chose it to escape farm life. Michael leaned into what has become his mantra, “I work, and work, and work.” This would be his ticket to get a job that would allow him to work indoors. Starting out far behind his classmates, Michael’s hard work led him to graduate at the top of the Business Department’s graduating class and winning the Wall Street Journal award.

His first job was with Equitable Life Insurance as an Administrator, but after a few months, he realized he longed to be outdoors again, just not in a manual labor capacity. One day during his lunch break, he applied for a sales job with Xerox in Harrisburg. Here he got his first big break as a Sales Representative trainee, and he quickly advanced to Regional Sales Manager. This job led him to move to Lancaster in 1979, and he discovered a new desire—to become an entrepreneur. With many clients in the printing industry, Michael began his search to acquire or start a company.

Michael, again influenced by his father and mother to always spend less than you make, led him to mortgage his hard-earned real estate holdings to finance his start up—PAP Technologies. He formed a partnership with a lottery ticket printing company that began selling to the lottery. Through his first contract to print tickets for the Pennsylvania Lottery, Michael’s hard work led to growth in other states and other types of printing, especially in the healthcare industry. That growth was further fueled by the acquisition of a competitor and a direct mail company. Michael’s “work-work-work” mentality has now positioned PAP Technologies as the second largest lottery ticket printer in the country with lottery divisions providing service, internet lottery content, retailer training, and distribution.

Michael’s advice to anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur is they must be a person who desires the pride of ownership and is willing to work at it every day with a mindset that nothing will get in the way of achieving their goals.

Learn more about PAP Technologies at

Want to discover more local? Follow Fig on Instagram and Facebook for inspiration.

More from Fig

Your Weekly Guide to Lancaster

Delivered right to your inbox for free, Fig Weekly features local stories, small business features, and upcoming events you won’t want to miss.

By signing up, I agree to the Terms and Privacy Policy.