PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 52

WORKFORCE
training programs, consistency of educational programs
nationally, quality and strength of technical expertise,
and its exceptionally well-qualified instructors and administrations
at multiple campuses, Williams shared.
" The FIT program attracts candidates who want to
work with their hands, " he continued. " The individuals
we recruit into the program are looking for career opportunities
with a growing 'recession-proof industry'
where they can employ the skill sets that they learned
from the FIT program. "
FPSA member contributions include providing
in-house technician training sessions,
trips to facilities
(processing plants and equipment manufacturing
plants), and equipment donations. In some cases, original
equipment manufacturers and processors provide
FIT students with in-person classroom visits designed to
foster enthusiasm for job opportunities along with discussions
on real-world needs that tie FIT education to
the job. Lincoln Tech has even created custom content
and curriculum specific to a partner's unique requirements
and delivery methods, English said.
FIT students receive
hands-on technical
training that
provides them with
the necessary skills
to gain employment
in various jobs in
meat and poultry
processing facilities
after graduation.
Continuous improvements
Since the testing of the first pilot program at Lincoln
Tech, there have been numerous improvements and expansions
to the FIT program. A continuous quality improvement
model is employed after each class to evaluate,
enact and ensure the program continues to meet the
needs of its customers. This includes the flexibility for
its Academic Specialists to adjust program specifications
and curriculum based on shifting industry trends and
FIT REQUIREMENTS
Students accepted into the Food Industry
Technical (FIT) program must show receipt of
a 48-week foundation electrical certificate. The
certificate demonstrates students possess the
knowledge and skills to be successful in the 12week
graduate FIT program. Students also learn
soft skills that meet the needs of employment.
For the soft skills training, students use
Career Edge. The program includes skills of
time management, personal budgeting, dispute
resolution, cultural diversity, working in teams
and effective communication. Personality testing
is also included to help students understand
their natural perspective as well as guidance
and practical exercises to promote teamwork.
Positions offered to graduating students include
technical assembly, maintenance and/or service
technicians with those in the program agreeing
to relocation and extensive work-related travel.
As of late September, there have been 60
participants in the FIT program.
technological advancements, according to English.
Although the FIT program requires 100% in-class
training, during the pandemic core classes shifted to
partially online environments when campuses were
closed because of state and federal regulations. With
reopening of the campuses, adjustments were made in
terms of class size, use of face coverings, health screenings,
social distancing and other COVID-19 protocols,
ensuring students meet the objectives of the program.
" We understand that the workforce needs of today
are complicated, and that companies are facing extraordinary
losses of experienced talent. Our campuses refer
graduates to a range of employers for career opportunities
upon completion of their training and hiring managers
know there's an open line of communication to our
local teams when they have an opening for new talent, "
English said.
As a result of the FIT program, companies are able to
better navigate shifting skill sets and the introduction of
advanced technology, offering new market opportunities
and a chance to increase production to meet demands -
a win for processors, suppliers and technicians alike.
As one example of the program's success, Joe Irby,
a September 2020 graduate of the FIT program, was
hired at the West Liberty Foods processing plant in
Bolingbrook, Ill., one month after graduating. Irby was
hired as a maintenance technician at West Liberty Foods
and after three months working in that role, he was promoted
to automation line technician at the plant.
52 PET FOOD PROCESSING | October 2021 | www.petfoodprocessing.net
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PET Food Processing - October 2021

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of PET Food Processing - October 2021

PET Food Processing - October 2021 - Intro
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 1
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 2
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 3
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 4
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 5
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 6
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 7
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 8
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 9
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 10
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 11
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 12
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 13
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 14
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 15
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 16
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 17
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 18
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 19
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 20
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 21
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 22
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 23
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 24
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 25
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 26
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 27
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 28
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 29
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 30
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 31
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 32
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 33
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 34
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 35
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 36
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 37
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 38
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 39
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 40
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 41
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 42
PET Food Processing - October 2021 - 43
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