MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Construction work is moving along at the new Procter and Gamble production facility in Berkeley County. Already about 70 employees are on staff producing Bounce Fabric Softener sheets. As construction on other production faculties nears completion, another 400 or more are being trained up and the search for more is underway.
“We have nearly 500 people employed here now about half of those have been hired locally,” said Keith Busby, Human Resources Manager at the Tabler Station Business Park operation. “We’re still looking for a lot more employees.”
About 200 of the current employees transferred from other P&G operations around the country, Busby needs about 350 more employees from the local area. The hires will round out the manpower needs for other product lines planned for the Martinsburg facility in the next 18 months.
“We look for attitude and aptitude,” said Busby of the company’s demands for the job.
He indicated experience is necessarily needed. He said many of the employees are straight out of high school others have come from all walks of life looking for a new career. The most critical need is people who want to be part of the Proctor and Gamble family. The culture, according to Busby, is geared to insure that’s the case.
“What’s worked well is a build from within culture,” said Busby. “Everybody starts at $16/hour as a starting wage. We do that on purpose so people can grow into the culture and grow into the leadership responsibilities.”
Leadership experience counts for a lot and although everybody starts at entry level pay, there are accelerated programs of advancement for those who have certain levels of experience–especially in the role of leadership.
Busby is quick to note this isn’t your grandfather’s Procter and Gamble plant. Unlike many years ago, people don’t come to work and for 30 years do the same task repetitively every single day until they retire. Instead, teams of four are assigned to lines of production. Each member of the teach has a leadership role of leading the team, training, production, and safety. The team becomes solely responsible for their area of production and is charge of making the operation work efficiently.
“We want the team to be self sufficient and make all the decisions and have the empowerment to do that,” he explained. “It’s a very cohesive environment and the challenges of making the product in the highest quality and most safe environment you can imagine are extremely exciting to be part of.”
Hiring takes place over the next 18 months as production lines are finished and day to day production operations get started. Training remains the most important project for the moment. The company is looking to hire another 350 workers within a year and a half.
Those interested start by applying on the Procter and Gamble website.