Deptford Twp. – F&S Produce, in conjunction with Gloucester County College’s Division of Continuing Education, has been awarded a $324,800 grant through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development.
GCC’s 250-acre main campus is located on Tanyard Road in Deptford, just off Exit 56 of Route 55.
The grant, which runs until April 2013, will provide customized training to 325 employees at F&S Produce Co. and its sister companies, Pipco Transportation and Mid-Eastern Cold Storage, in the areas of leadership management, systems training, vehicle operations, quality-control technology and food-systems administration.
“It is critical that companies continually invest in their employees in order to compete in today’s marketplace,” said F&S Produce President and COO Lou Cooperhouse. “We are putting this money immediately to work as we are implementing sophisticated systems upgrades and process improvements at F&S in the coming months. This grant will enable us to build our Safe Quality Food 2000 Level 3 Certification, aggressively train our employees in all functional areas, and affect the cultural change that is required in a world-class organization.”
“The partnership between the business community and the county’s educational facilities helps to foster a successful business environment,” said Gloucester County Freeholder Director Robert Damminger. “This grant enables F&S Produce to offer additional training classes to their employees, keeping them up-to-date with the latest manufacturing skills.”
Added Freeholder Lyman Barnes, who is the liaison to the Department of Education, “F&S Produce’s recent expansion and investment in its employees will help to boost the local economy in a region that has one of the highest unemployment rates in the state.”
“Employees will have the opportunity to attend the training classes at the F&S facility to improve their job skills, making them a valuable asset to the company,” noted Allen Magid, GCC Continuing Education sales manager.
Courses offered through GCC will include Business Communications, Team Building, Lean Manufacturing: An Introduction; Lean Manufacturing: Continuous Process Improvement; Computer Systems Analysis, Data Processing Technologies, Enterprise Resource Planning, Management Information Systems, Computer Programming, Driver Safety, Hazard Analysis and Good Manufacturing Practices.
“Gloucester County College is pleased to be an educational partner, providing customized training courses to F&S Produce employees through the Department of Labor and Workforce Development grant,” said President Frederick Keating. “It’s important for the college to be active within the community and support employees in their quest to be proficient and skilled in today’s job market.”
A family-owned fruit and vegetable producer located in Rosenhayn, NJ, F&S Produce ships more than 75-million pounds of premium product to retail stores, the food-service industry and industrial food-manufacturing plants in a typical year. The company’s significant growth in business and operations over recent years has resulted in the expansion of their processing space, bringing the total facility to more than 125,000-square feet.
“We are taking our company to the next level, and we are extremely thankful to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development for this grant, which will ease the financial burden that is required to train our employees,” said Sam Pipitone, Jr., CEO and owner of the three companies.
The College’s Continuing Education Center, located at 1492 Tanyard Road, allows area employers and employees to acquire the knowledge and skills necessary for today’s workplace. Seminars and training programs are designed to maintain and improve workers’ skills and productivity. For more information, call 856-468-5000, ext. 5503. For more information on F&S Produce, visit www.freshcutproduce.com.