Building a Learning Path: A Multi-Lingual Plant Curriculum

Client

PacMoore is a privately held, mid-sized contract manufacturer providing processing and packaging for the food industry, with plants in Hammond and Mooresville, Indiana.

Situation

Ranya was invited to a project that required working knowledge of the Spanish language and Latino cultures. After about four years as an embedded consultant, PSI had developed and implemented an operational curriculum that met regulatory, safety and quality requirements, bridged the language gap, supported front-line leaders and helped to shift the culture.

Challenges

In the summer of 2004, the food manufacturing industry faced stricter quality assurance requirements.  In order to maintain their competitive edge and grow their business, PacMoore needed to explicitly develop their policies to meet changing customer and industry standards. All the new policies, procedures, and training needed to be rolled out to English and Spanish speaking employees and leaders. There were employees with low to moderate literacy rates, while others were at a varying learning levels.

 Moreover, there were communication concerns. Senior management was English speaking while the shop floor was nearly 100% Spanish speaking.  Communication down to the shop floor was mainly controlled by two influential bi-lingual speakers—the plant manager and the quality trainer, each of whom had distinctly different communication and leadership styles.

PacMoore’s stated goal was to “train” line workers and front-line leaders to meet client and regulatory requirements, but had no standard operating procedures in place.

Solution

PSI laid out a multi-phased project plan. The client wanted training, so we began by helping them understand that documented performance standards were a necessary foundation for training. We wrote bilingual SOPs while conducting job / task analysis and facilitating consensus-building on standards and terms. We laid out a short-term and long-term path to skill development that included:

  • a process overview course / on-boarding

  • structured on-the-job training (OJT) and Train-the-Trainer (TTT)

  • supervisory skills training

  • a safety program

  • a custom designed program called Target Talk that addressed OSHA requirements and language skills at the same time

In 2005-6 we designed and implemented a multilingual plant system that was duplicated at PacMoore Processing Technologies. The plant system was recognized by Indiana Business News as an innovative training program that contributed to wider economic development in Indiana.

Results

The market expansion, supported by the new plant system, produced a 50% growth in revenue.  Employee morale improved and retention steadied at 98%. Customer complaints were reduced by 22%.


I’ve never seen a training program this good.
— Silliker auditor

See Indian’s News write up on this project and additional recommendations at www.linkedin.com/in/ranyaverson