TABLERS STATION, W.Va. — Procter & Gamble’s new West Virginia site is taking shape, and so is its workforce.
“We are on track,” said Ryan Moore, human resources department leader for Procter & Gamble at the Tabler Station site.
“I love to say that because we are right now at about 225 to 235 total employees here on site. We are on track for 300 total P&G employees by the end of this calendar year, which is what we stated we would be on the track to do since the start of our project.”
Construction, meanwhile, is also on target.
“The status is on track. We are not behind,” Moore said. “We are continuously getting different parts of the plant ready to go. Utility operations would be some of the first things to start. Then we are on track to having the capability to start making Bounce dryer sheets by the end of this calendar year.”
When the new plant in the Eastern Panhandle is completed, P&G expects to employ 700 people at the end of 2019. The plant will be hiring technicians and managers.
But P&G is looking not just for skills but for a mindset.
“Our plant technician roles are all-encompassing of many roles that are needed and skills that are needed for the plant to run with safety in mind,” Moore said.
“We look for individuals who have the willingness and the right attitude and aptitude to be multi-skilled operators within our site. So they’ll hold a variety of different responsibilities. They’ll have a variety of career opportunities within the plant to continue to grow in a career with P&G.”
Moore called P&G’s work atmosphere “a learning culture.”
“It’s an open mindset, knowing we always have to innovate, we always have to improve. We don’t expect employees we hire to know one thing and that’s their thing.
We don’t need people who necessarily have a manufacturing background. We’re looking for folks right out of high school and people who have 30+ years. But having the right attitude and aptitude to learn new skills, always wanting to improve themselves and improve the capabilities of others creates the right workforce to react and to be flexible with ever-changing conditions.
“In summary, we’re always learning. Our workforce is always working to improve their skills.”
Hiring is steady, Moore said, speaking from the Procter & Gamble’s temporary offices at Blue Ridge Community and Technical College’s technical center not far from where the new plant is being built.
“We typically do hire every month, on track for about 15 to 20 people per month. That will increase or decrease each month, depending on the different startup dates that we publicly share,” Moore said.
Sandy Hamilton, the director of the Berkeley County Development Authority, said the hiring process can take a while because Procter & Gamble is so intent on gaining a flexible, motivated workforce.
“They’ve been pleased with the quality of the candidates they’ve been receiving through their application process,” Hamilton said.
“It’s a very lengthy process so I know that’s discouraging to some, but it’s worthwhile when you get to the end of the process. It can take three to six months to actually be made a job offer.”
The process begins with candidates going online to pgcareers.com. The best way to navigate is to type the keyword “West Virginia” into the search box.
Once the online application form is filled out, candidates who move on through the hiring process will take an online test followed by an in-person interview and another test. Then there’s a background investigation, a drug test and, possibly, a job offer.
“Certainly not everyone feels like they’re in position to be that patient,” Hamilton said. “Once you do, you’re offered a job with a very solid company with incredible benefits, and you have the potential to have a career.
“It’s not a company that you’re gonna go in and work a few months or a few years and be in a layoff position. I don’t see that ever happening with Procter & Gamble.”