Plant personnel decry lack of training

Although most participants in this summer’s training survey (see p. 116) had management roles, the same recognition of training also comes from the plant floor.

Several participants in Packaging World’s most recent salary survey (see PW, March, ’00, p. 30 or packworld.com/go/salary) listed training as a major dissatisfaction. What makes these comments so telling is that they came in answer to a general question asking about time priorities.

The production manager for a Southwest food company said his company’s “turnover rate doesn’t allow time for technical and personnel issues to be addressed.” The plant manager at a Midwest cosmetics maker would like to do more training but is hindered by both “a labor shortage caused by the low unemployment rate and daily production demands.” The maintenance manager at a Northeast foods company agrees. “We have too much turnover in maintenance,” he said. “I don’t have enough time to really teach new mechanics.”

An engineering supervisor for a Midwest appliance maker had personal regrets. He’d like to “return to school to be retrained in computers.” The manager of manufacturing development for a Midwest beverage company wanted “additional training in the latest management techniques.”

Most survey respondents, though, sought the training for operators and mechanics. The production manager of a Northeast maker of household products said his top priority would be a “training program for line employees.” The plant manager for a chemical company in the Northwest would focus on “training machine operators.” And the packaging manager for an industrial products company admitted his company “has no time and no budget for training of line mechanics and operators.”

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