The Foundation of the Food Processing Suppliers Association (FPSA) is pleased to recognize the first students of their recently developed Food Industry Technician (FIT) Certification Program, created to prepare future technicians for careers in the Food & Beverage Processing, Packaging and Equipment Manufacturing Industry. This certification program being piloted at Lincoln Tech's Union, New Jersey campus is in response to the technical complexity of food processing and equipment manufacturing and the growing need for technicians with a specific skill set in the fast-changing food and beverage industry.
"The FIT Certification is a way for students entering the workforce and current manufacturing workers to gain new skills and qualify for technician roles. Students in the FIT program focus on mechanics, electronics, freestanding and integrated processing equipment and advanced manufacturing in the food and beverage processing packaging industry," said Gil Williams, Foundation chairman. "Members of the Food Processing Suppliers Association will have the opportunity to interview these graduating students and fill much needed positions within their organizations. Several FPSA members donated equipment to the program, giving the students real world work experience."
Scott Shaw, Lincoln Tech's president and CEO added, "We at Lincoln Tech could not be more excited about the prospects of helping to connect so many of the nation's leading food processors and distributors with skilled graduates who can transform this industry's workforce. We thank the Food Processing Suppliers Association for the opportunity to join this partnership and look forward to its success."
Nine students were selected for the FIT pilot program and will graduate in January 2019. The 12-week/360-hour program focuses on mechanical, electrical and manufacturing automation and is being taught by Ernesto Reina, who has experience in teaching a Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) program along with the Electronics Systems Technician Program and has previous work experience in the food industry. For more information about the FIT certification program, visit http://foodindustrytechnician.com/program-overview/what-is-fit-certification/.
The FFPSA Board selected Lincoln Tech's Union campus as their educational partner to pilot this program because of the longevity of their hands-on training programs, consistency of educational programs nationally and the marketing of students across the country to serve the geographically diverse membership of the FFPSA. These attributes, among others, aligned with the goals and objectives of the FIT Program. FFPSA is currently working with Lincoln Tech on a multiple year contract for possible additional sites for the FIT program in 2019.