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Production Manager


Location: Thornton, IL 

Exemption: Exempt 




Ventura Foods is a leading global manufacturer of branded and custom food products that proudly helps food providers in the U.S., Canada and more than 60 other countries earn a special place on consumers’ tables.  We do this by continually crafting custom dressings, sauces, mayonnaises, and other food solutions that exceed peoples’ expectations for great-tasting flavors and high-quality ingredients.

Headquartered in Brea, California, Ventura Foods operates 14 manufacturing facilities, 3 culinary centers, and numerous distribution centers across North America. When you work in our manufacturing and distribution facilities, you get a strong foundation of training, a manager who cares about you and celebrates your success, a safe environment, and challenging work.  As part of our team, your future is limited only by how much you’re willing to push yourself to get there. We invest in your growth, because you invest in ours.

Position Summary:

The Production Manager is responsible for leading all production/manufacturing activities in the facility on all 3 shifts. Responsibilities include engaging people, driving safety culture and performance, ensuring compliance with all internal and external quality requirements, leading implementation of the Ventura Edge Operating System, achieving customer service level targets and meeting or exceeding all budgeted costs for labor, supplies, and materials.  

Major Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Produce quality product that meets or exceeds food safety standards and specifications determined by Ventura Foods or outside regulating agencies (FDA, USDA, or County Health Dept.)  Ensure that production is at a level and is scheduled to consistently meet both customer service and Ventura Foods' distribution point requirements.
  • Maintain good employee morale, insure positive and accurate communications, initiate creative ideas, and encourage progressive thinking from all supervisors and hourly employees.
  • Track operational output measures (i.e. efficiency, yield loss, product quality, inventory accuracy, transactional accuracy), anticipating and correcting trends which would compromise achievement of financial targets.
  • Responsible for assuring compliance with all Food Safety policies, procedures and regulatory criterion including the current SQF code, Good Manufacturing Practices (GMPs), and the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA) and associated Preventive Controls.
  • Actively participates and supports all Safety initiatives within the plant, while engaging team members in these activities.
  • Coordinate with maintenance, sanitation, quality control and safety for preventative maintenance, repairs, employee training and operating procedures.
  • Initiate, investigate, justify, prepare, implement and assist on all capital investments in the production facility.
  • Manage and control facility equipment to ensure we meet all environmental regulations of the Federal, State and local governments.

Education and Experience:

  • Bachelor's degree or equivalent experience. 
  • 5+ years of cross-functional experience in a manufacturing leadership position.
  • Experience with continuous improvement (i.e. Lean Six Sigma, TPM, etc.).
  • Proven track record of successfully delivering results and leading people & projects in a manufacturing environment.
  • Solid financial and budget-management skills.
  • Ability to coach and mentor employees on a one-on-one basis, as well as a group.
  • Excellent time management, prioritization, presentation and negotiation skills.
  • Strong and effective communication skills & computer proficiency.

Knowledge and Skills:

  • Must be a team builder, leader, and change initiator. 
  • Must be able to communicate accurately and clearly both orally and in writing using electronic media, telephone and direct contact with internal and external personnel.  
  • Skill set must include strong analytical, observation, and coaching skills coupled with initiative to create and embrace change. 
  • Knowledge of facility's packaging, equipment, and capacity is important. 
  • Operate standard office equipment and demonstrate competency in the use of standard software applications.


Physical Demands:

Regularly requires intermittent sitting, standing, walking, climbing, squatting, kneeling, pushing, and pulling.  Physical strength and dexterity sufficient to perform the required task(s). Must occasionally lift and/or move up to 50 pounds or more with assistance.  Additional demands may be required.


Work Environment:

In addition to normal business hours, work schedules may include after hours and weekends as needed.  May work outside and in adverse temperatures which include extreme hot, cold, and humidity.  May be exposed to fumes or airborne particles, toxic or caustic chemicals and vibration.  Must be willing and able to wear personal protective equipment as required by established Company Safety standards.  May require work in confined and dark spaces, and at heights in excess of 18 feet for prolonged periods of time.


Ventura Foods is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Nearest Major Market: Chicago

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