Workforce Training Improves Quality, Boosts Sales

Photo Credit: iStock.com/kali9 The Blount family has been in the food business since 1880. The premium product line includes refrigerated and frozen premium soups, sauces, sides and entrees for sale at restaurants, clubs and grocery stores. Based in Fall River, Massachusetts, with 350 employees, Blount’s background in seafood has established the...
Two young men participating in manufacturing workforce training.

Photo Credit: iStock.com/kali9

The Blount family has been in the food business since 1880. The premium product line includes refrigerated and frozen premium soups, sauces, sides and entrees for sale at restaurants, clubs and grocery stores. Based in Fall River, Massachusetts, with 350 employees, Blount’s background in seafood has established the company as the largest producer of clam chowder and lobster bisque in New England.

Blount Fine Foods had enjoyed steady market share over the past few years and wanted to concentrate on customer retention rather than expansion. In addition, Blount’s product quality had always found itself in the upper-cost tier at the retail level and it was important to control operational costs while adhering to government regulations in an ever-evolving industry. The company recognized the need to continuously develop and engage their staff in order to maintain high levels of quality assurance while controlling costs.

The Workforce Training Grant not only allows us to expand the skill sets of our current employees, it has also given us the opportunity to demonstrate our commitment to our staff, as both team members and as individuals for their own development. In today’s business environment, it has never been more crucial to retain a workforce and invest in a partnership for the long term. This grant allowed us this opportunity, and it has made a strong team even stronger. —David Flavin, Learning & Development Coordinator

Through a Workforce Training Grant provided by the Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP), part of the MEP National Network, Blount enlisted the services of several training providers to focus on several key improvement areas. Blount employees participated in trainings on communication and leadership, microbial awareness, HACCP (Hazard Awareness Critical Control Panel) certification, and coaching and team-building, as well as Train-the-Trainer sessions to develop in-house instructors. Blount increased efficiencies and reduced waste, and the company added jobs to keep pace with the boost in sales.

Results

  • Added 114 jobs
  • Increased efficiencies, reduced production waste by 15%
  • Exceeded sales projections by 38%
  • 16 employees became HACCP-certified

Could your company benefit from assistance with workforce training? Connect with your local MEP Center for more information.

The Massachusetts Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MassMEP) is the official representative of the MEP National Network in Massachusetts. The MEP National Network is a unique public-private partnership that helps small and medium-sized manufacturers generate business results and thrive in today’s technology-driven economy. The MEP National Network comprises the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), the 51 MEP Centers located in all 50 states and Puerto Rico

Source: www.nist.gov