Saputo:A manufacturer with a family atmosphere and a commitment to promoting from within the company

Saputo Dairy USA is one of the largest dairy processors in the world. The Canadian-based company opened a processing facility in Plant City in 2017, where ever since it has been producing an array of dairy products, such as heavy whipping cream, half-and-half, ice cream mix and protein drinks.

The Plant City facility has seen rapid growth since its opening, adding new workers at a healthy clip. Casie Temple, Human Resources Manager at the Plant City facility, shared what makes Saputo stand out as an employer.

Types of positions

We bought an existing facility here in Plant City in 2017 and basically have been adding equipment and people ever since. When we started, we had about 75 people -- we now have 215 people. We still have positions we need to fill. We have everything from the entry-level positions, like a packaging or palletizer operator, moving up into the more skilled positions of filler operator, blender operator, utility operators, quality and maintenance. We do have some administrative positions available, for example warehouse clerks and production clerks, and we also have a couple of supervisory positions we're working to fill. So, we’ve got a little bit of everything. The majority of these positions are open due to continued growth.

What they’re looking for in job candidates

Typically, we are looking for people with manufacturing experience of at least one year. Individuals don't necessarily have to have experience doing exactly what we do, but we like to know that people are familiar with working in a food-grade type of atmosphere. There are various restrictions and regulations in a food manufacturing facility, so we'd like people to have some familiarity with this type of environment. We can train them on our equipment, but value people who have familiarity working in that type of environment and that they have some sort of mechanical experience. They don't have to be experts, but they need to be able to do basic troubleshooting and pretty basic repairs for a lot of the jobs. For maintenance positions, we're going to be looking for three to five years maintenance experience in a manufacturing environment. For quality positions, one to two years experience performing quality assurance in a manufacturing facility. For a blender operator or a pasteurizer operator, they also need experience in some sort of manufacturing environment doing those tasks. Those are higher-skilled positions that we can train on our equipment, but they do need to already have a baseline of understanding of what's happening.

Prospects for advancement at Saputo

People who do the best here have a good attitude, they're trainable, and they show up to work. Basically, people who do well here want to learn and they have the ability for us to train them. Anytime we have any kind of opening we post it internally first, so that internal people have the first opportunity. If they're qualified and we're able to move them into that position, we do. And we don't deny people the opportunity to do something that they feel might be better suited for them. We'd rather move them into another position to keep them if we can rather than lose them externally for those same types of opportunities.

The workplace culture

We have our Saputo values, and one of those values is that we are family oriented. We try to maintain that type of environment. Our other values are Efficiency through Simplicity, Ownership and Commitment, a Hands-on Approach, and Passion. These values are very important to not only the owners of our company, but to the organization in general. We really feel like maintaining those values are what make us different from other companies and make us a place that people love to work.

An assortment of benefits

We have your standard medical, dental, vision, 401k, all after your 31st day of employment here. Outside of that, we have six weeks of paid parental leave that allows new parents to bond with a new child in the first months of that child's life. We also have tuition reimbursement, so that people who want to continue their education are able to do that under that plan. Those are two big ones that sets us apart from a lot of other companies.

At home in Plant City

Plant City is a good place for our business. Like a lot of the other manufacturers in the area, we benefit from the central location in Florida and being able to get product in and out of the state very easily.

We take being part of the community seriously. We recently formed a community engagement team to focus on our community efforts, like volunteer work. For instance, we partnered with the Plant City Community Garden to rehabilitate a greenhouse that they have. They do a lot of community programs and education, as well as they rent plots to people to grow their own food and they donate healthy food to the local food bank. It is really important to Saputo to reinvest back into our communities in relation to health and fitness. That’s a big focus for us.