The problem: A shortage of qualified technicians
The food processing and packaging industries need technicians that have the ability to install, service, and maintain equipment with a high level of sophistication that companies depend on in the food processing, packaging and equipment manufacturing environment.
Food and beverage companies are facing a skills gap that is impacting their bottom line.
- In a recent survey of food industry leaders, respondents said that finding qualified technicians is a “major problem.”
- The technician workforce is shrinking as veteran technicians retire.
- The industry needs more technicians who can manage and service increasingly complex equipment and machinery.
- The role of a technician requires knowledge in several areas, and there is not a nationally coordinated program to prepare future technicians.
- Training of a newly hired technician can take 18 months or longer, driving up the cost of hiring and replacing technicians and undermining the optimal performance of processing equipment.
The Solution: The FIT program
FPSA is overcoming these obstacles by creating the first national training program to fulfill the recruitment needs of the member companies. The program is designed to recruit students nationally into the Food Industry Technician Development Program and provide them with quality training that is specific to the industry we serve. Member companies of the FPSA will have the opportunity to hire certified trained applicants or train employees in their company or business.
The FPSA continually delivers educational opportunities to their members. Webinars, Process Expo University and Student and Young Professional groups are some of the many educational opportunities provided by FPSA. These opportunities coach members to be the leaders in the industry by providing new solutions to today’s obstacles in the food processing and packaging environment. The FPSA also hosts the largest food & beverage tradeshow, PROCESS EXPO, which provides solutions to food technology and brings together the world’s most successful food and beverage processors, equipment manufacturers and leaders in the field of academia. The FIT program is an extension of the services already provided by the FPSA offering members a new way to recruit trained and certified Food Industry Technicians.
What We’re Doing
- Working with a nationally recognized, technical career training institute with campuses across the U.S. to build a new program that expands the student’s knowledge of technologies that are commonly found in the food processing industry. These include:
- Industry basics: safety, sanitary design, sanitation, blueprint reading and electrical schematics
- Mechanical equipment: bearings, gear boxes, gearing, reducers, drive mechanisms, conveyors and belts
- Electrical: AC/DC, high and low voltage systems, PLC’s, Variable Frequency Drives
- Motors: types, wiring, control systems, how to replace, washdown ratings and protection
- Sensors: different types, uses and trouble shooting
- Creating a new professional credential, the FIT (Food Industry Technician) Certification, which blends academic knowledge, practical experience, and additional training to prepare new technicians.
- Offering existing technicians, the opportunity to pursue career growth and development by earning a FIT Certification
Benefits of participating in the FIT program:
- Gain access to a pool of qualified entry level technicians to bridge the skills gap
- Decrease the time and costs associated with technician training.
- Reduce technician turnover rates.
- Create a career path for existing employees.
- Invest in talent that is trained with the needed skills used in our industry today.