Surrounded by a plethora of pristine equipment designed to showcase a multitude of food and beverage manufacturing processes - all sitting ready for commissioning - a laboratory with the most essential apparatus and a shop - it was clear to me that this indeed would provide a valuable learning environment for those looking to follow or further develop their careers in industry.
On June 28th, 2012, we invite you to participate in a very special networking event that is being hosted by The Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT) at Conestoga College in Cambridge. This will provide you with a first-hand opportunity to tour their 8000 square foot pilot plant and learn about the programs offered that could positively affect your business through the hiring of skilled and trained labour.
As a little bit of background, please find below a few words on the development of the IFPT and their programs:
"The Institute of Food Processing Technology (IFPT) at Conestoga College was created in 2009 in partnership with the Alliance of Ontario Food Processors (AOFP). Situated at Conestoga College's new Cambridge campus, IFPT opened its doors in September 2011 with small classrooms, mechanical shops, laboratory settings, and an 8000 square foot pilot plant with different processing lines that will help maximize the learning experience for its students. The institute offers programs and courses for industry in technology, supervision, sanitation, and food safety. They also offer post-secondary programs in food processing and the in-school training portion of the process operator - food manufacturing apprenticeship program.
The creation of IFPT was the direct outcome of a labour study conducted by the AOFP in partnership with the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs (OMAFRA) and Human Resources & Skills Development Canada. The study highlighted the need to have an up-to-date training facility, such as the IFPT for providing unique skills to workers that employers of the food processing industry are continuously seeking and for attracting students to the industry. With the current skilled group of workers retiring at a rate of 10% per year, it is imperative that there are an adequate number of highly skilled workers available for the implementation and maintenance of latest technology and to keep the industry as a major economic force in the upcoming years.
To develop the highly skilled workers required by the industry, IFPT is committed to excellence in teaching focused on current plant and laboratory techniques and processes, including the availability of leading edge technology and machinery as well as adherence to required maintenance standards and processes."
Cited from the Institue of Food Processing Technology website
In addition to representatives from the College, we are pleased to have Greg Merlihan, National Sales Director, for Karma Candy join us to share his perspectives on collaboration between industry and academics and the community and the impact fostering relationships in this regard can have on business today.
Continuing on the theme of education and collaboration, this special event will also enable those with an interest in Lean and Food Safety Certification to take part in an overview and discussion with Tom Bechtel, Senior Associate, Value Stream Solutions. If you have ever contemplated how you might utilize Lean to achieve, protect and sustain food safety certifications, build a proactive culture and/or gain on employee engagement or have looked at new ways to work to problem avoidance, this peer-to-peer networking opportunity should generate some excellent ideas and provoke thought along those lines.
If you are a food or beverage processor, are in the packaging industry, simply interested in visiting a state of the art facility from a training perspective, want to know more about the impact of collaboration on business or the opportunities Lean might generate for your company - we would encourage you to join us! It promises to be a very educational - inspirational morning!
All the best!