Food Processing Industry Partnership
Food companies in the area will also find a strong network of support through an industry partnership. The Food Processing Industry Partnership (FPIP) is a joint effort of the Luzerne/Schuylkill, Lackawanna, Northern Tier and Pocono Counties Workforce Investment Boards with the support of PA CareerLink. The partnership was created to foster collaboration with the food processing industry partners, workforce investment agencies, local economic development groups and educational institutions.
The mission is to align economic and workforce development resources to meet the needs of the companies within the food processing industry cluster with the career goals of its workers and to attract and retain quality employers in Northeastern Pennsylvania.
Benefits of joining the Food Processing Industry Partnership:
- Gain “economies of scale.” Share ideas and best practices to advance your company and the industry as a whole.
- The focus is on training. Sponsor a training program at your facility and open it to other FPIP members.
- Leverage grant access. The partnership will seek out grant funding to provide your employees with the training they need.
For more information about the partnership, please click here.
Penn State University’s Hazleton campus, in conjunction with the local workforce investment board and the Food Processing Industry Partnership, offers specialized training to develop a ready pool of candidates for open, entry-level positions in local food processing companies. The Qualified Food Worker Certification Program is a five-day training program for individuals interested in working in the food processing industry.
The program consists of five full days of training and each student must attend each class. Below is an example of the training modules:
Food Processing Modules – Day 1
- Introduction to the Food Processing Industry
- Food Regulations & Standard Industry Practices
- Basic Food Microbiology
- Food Safety – Microbial Pathogens
- Food Safety – Chemical Hazards & Allergens
- Food Safety – Physical Hazards & Foreign Matter Control
Food Processing Modules – Day 2
- Good Manufacturing Practice (GMPs) – Personal Hygiene and Employee Practices
- Good Manufacturing Practice (GMPs) – Facilities, Grounds and Equipment, Pest Control Sanitation
- Introduction to HACCP – Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points
- Introduction to Food Defense
- Quality – Basic Principles
Food Processing Modules – Day 3
- Tours: 9:00 A.M. – 12:00 P.M. tour of “wet/cold” food processing plant and training session — Cargill Meat Solutions, Humboldt Industrial Park, Hazleton
- 1:00 P.M. – 4:00 P.M. tour of “dry/hot” food processing plant and training session — Nardone’s Pizza, Hanover Industrial Park, Wilkes-Barre
Food Processing Modules – Day 4
- OSHA 10 Hour Certification – part I - 4 hours
- Food Worker Job Preparation – 2 hour program on interview skills and resume preparation
Food Processing Modules – Day 5
- OSHA 10 Hour Certification – part II - 6 hours
Upon completion, participants will receive a certificate of completion from Penn State University for the Qualified Food Worker Certification Training Program and a 10-hour OSHA card, and will receive Continuing Education Units (CEUs) upon completion of 5 days of training.