Cherry Central is the industry leader in the processing of tart cherries, apples, blueberries, asparagus and cranberries. We have provided our customers with dried, frozen, canned and custom ingredient products since 1973. Cherry Central member cooperatives represent hundreds of dedicated farmers and numerous preferred processors in renowned fruit-growing regions in the United States, Canada and around the globe. We transform the world’s best fruit and asparagus into a vast array of outstanding products for the retail trade as well as for wholesale markets, including ingredients, foodservice, private label and co-pack opportunities. 

We’re hiring for a Plant Manager to lead our fruit drying facility in Shelby, MI.  This location produces and packages dried food products with the goal of consistently meeting and exceeding customer expectations for quality, safety and wholesomeness. You would be responsible for all phases of plant management and all activities that are required to safely produce high quality products with the most efficient use of labor and materials. This is a year-round processing facility, non-union that has undergone significant expansions. We are looking for leadership, operational efficiency, maximizing of capacity capabilities and building a performance-based culture.  

We offer a competitive compensation package along with benefits and relocation assistance. 

The Plant Manager is ultimately responsible for leading manufacturing operations and the supervision of all plant staff including the Operations Manager, Maintenance Manager, Production Supervisors, Purchasing, Logistics, Safety, and HR (approximately 50 FTE). The Plant Manager provides leadership responsibilities in accordance with organization’s policies and applicable federal, state and local laws. 

The Plant Manager's key activities and responsibilities include: 

  • Oversee the conversion of raw materials to finished products (mixing, drying and packaging) with minimal waste and labor cost 

  • Set and monitor clear operational goals, expectations, and KPI’s while leading and developing plant team accountability through coaching, mentoring, and enforcement of best practices 

  • Approve and oversee engineering projects and changes through recognized project management methodologies 

  • Implement and lead continuous improvement and maintaining a 5S environment 

  • Comply with customer service and company standards 

  • Schedule, maintain and approve production 

  • Plan production operations, establishing priorities and sequences for manufacturing products 

  • Review production and operating reports and resolve operational, manufacturing, and maintenance problems to ensure minimum cost and prevent operational delays 

  • Continuously capitalize on manufacturing automation and monitor machines and equipment to ensure specific operational performance and optimum utilization 

  • Train, develop and evaluate all employees to meet future needs 

Required Qualifications 

  • Bachelor’s degree in engineering, business administration, management, or related field 

  • 5+ years of industry experience in progressive management abilities 

  • 8+ years of supervisory experience in an automated manufacturing environment 

  • Lean/Six Sigma certifications with proven ability to lead and champion continuous improvement, performance metrics, and lean methodology 

  • Demonstrated passion for employee and food safety, including HACCP 

  • Solid understanding of the food and co-production industry 

  • Experience with water treatment plant operations and management 

  • Experience with ERP and MRP software systems 

  • Strong interpersonal skills to include communications, team building, and leadership development 

  • Strong business and financial acumen with the ability to comprehend and analyze numerical and statistical data to drive operational decision making 

  • Demonstrated SQF knowledge 

  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment with a flexible schedule 

  • Previous Profit & Loss responsibilities     

Preferred Qualifications 

  • Master’s Degree or other advanced education 

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