The Heinz heritage is immediately evident when you walk into the Holland, Michigan plant. The smell of pickles greets you first as you enter one of the original three Heinz plants. Located off of Lake Michigan, the plant is in the heart of a vacation spot, the beautiful little town of Holland. Much has changed since the facility began making Heinz pickles in the late 1800’s. The same can be said about our time as OMTPs, as we begin our first week at our plant assignments, there is constant change and learning going on.
The first day at Holland began with the routine morning, just with two new Trainee faces in the group. We met the entire team, talked a little bit about our time in the program so far, and met a few members of the staff before heading out on a tour of the facility. Each plant we have seen thus far has been vastly different than the others, and Holland is no exception. The pickle heritage is still present, with unique products like vinegar, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce joining it now. Following the tour, we dove into safety training, the most important thing before beginning work on the floor.
The first few weeks are broken into various shadowing rotations throughout the plant, to get us acclimated to the entire factory process before deep diving into our individual roles and responsibilities. Week one included two days in both the quality lab and the maintenance department. The quality lab in Holland easily has the most envious view in all of Heinz, pictured below.
The view aside, the time spent in the quality lab was invaluable. We shadowed various members of the quality team, taking measurements out on the lines and running detailed analysis in the lab. Following quality, we went into our rotation in the maintenance department, one of, if not the most important departments in any plant. We got to observe how maintenance interacts with production, which will prove to be very useful once our roles in production begin.