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Working Iowa: Procter and Gamble adding to Iowa City workforce

Published: Jul. 19, 2021 at 7:14 AM CDT
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IOWA CITY, Iowa (KCRG) - About 400 people work at Procter and Gamble’s beauty operations plant in Iowa City. That includes Beth Henson, who leads one of the shampoo and conditioner lines. She oversees about 15 to 20 employees.

“I have two lines that I’m a line leader over,” she said. “We have to make sure that we get our product out, so there’s a lot of things that we have to juggle in order to make everything happen.”

She’s been with the company for about 20 years. She says it’s the people that bring her back every day.

“Every day it’s a new experience,” she said. “Making sure they’re getting their needs met along with everything that we need to do to produce our product.”

There are some employees who are relatively new to the company. Adrian Ledo joined as a process engineer right out of college about a year ago.

“I work on process improvements throughout the packing line here,” he said. “So I look at the losses from the previous day and work with the operators here to make sure we have a plan set in place to recover those losses.”

Henson and Ledo say they can feel the need for more help on the production lines.

“Our individuals are working a lot of hours and putting in a lot of time to get everything done,” Henson said. “We need more people to be able to support us in doing that.”

This comes after P&G announced last year it would not be moving its beauty production operations to another state, which would have meant losing hundreds of jobs. Instead, the company says it’s looking to hire despite the pandemic. Beauty care plant manager Jason Jackson said the company is looking to hire 50 positions right now. Most of the roles are primarily production-oriented.

“[They are] members of our team who work on the operational floor, running the equipment, really owning and maintaining the equipment and then supporting the production on a day-to-day basis,” he said. “We’re seeing that need come out in the need to bring some of these new production systems online and to continue building our capability and skillset to support the businesses we serve here.”

But he says it’s much more than just hiring for a position.

“Members of our team have the chance to perform the maintenance on the equipment and are held accountable and responsible for driving improvements, like improved reliability or improved scrap improvement,” Jackson said. “It’s an opportunity to drive an improvement and make an impact on how the line and how the site runs.”

He says there’s a wide range of people they’re looking to accept, but a passion for winning is key.

“We want folks on the team who really have a desire to achieve, to contribute and to when we have challenging goals. Consumer needs evolve over time, so we need to keep pacing and keep up with those changing dynamics and make sure we can have the product on the shelf when the consumer needs it,” he said.

For the employee, there is plenty of on-the-job training programs to help unlock a world of possibilities.

“P&G is more than just a place where you’re going to show up and have a job and just do the same thing day in and day out,” Jackson said. “If you look at the types of jobs people do over 30 years, it can evolve tremendously. We’ve got people who started on the line, filling in a particular position, and they’ve gone on to be a technical expert for a company or for a particular formulation or particular technology. You really have a chance to start a career and develop and grow your skillset over time, both professionally and personally. ”

He says the environment is fast-paced and perfect for someone who can adapt to change.

“The role or position you may be filling might look similar day-to-day, but we’re constantly bringing in new products, constantly bringing in new technology,” he said. “I think there’s a lot of great variety in chances for people to learn and contribute every day.”

For more information about this career, click or tap here. The requisition number is R000008241, Plant Technician- Beauty Care.

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