Responding to the repeated requests from confectionary professionals, the National Confectioners Association (NCA) and PMCA, an International Association of Confectioners, co-sponsored a three day intensive quality control course in Chicago this past November.
“The course had more than 40 participants and sold out quickly once it was announced. It’s clear that the industry is seeking more training in this area and NCA and PMCA want to make sure we meet their needs,” commented Eileen Scherzinger, NCA’s technical programs manager.
The course provided a mix of theory as well as interactive instruction and exercises on the topics of basic statistics, statistical process control, HACCP, pest management, documentation, recalls, lean manufacturing as well as plant and food security.
Lean manufacturing was one of the most dynamic and unique sections of the course since it demonstrated a simulation of operations in a manufacturing facility and course participants were then tasked with the challenge of making the operation more efficient. “It was interesting. Especially the ‘hands-on’ activity. I’ve never experienced this kind of exercise, even in Japan,” commented one of the course participants.
Yvette Thomas, PMCA’s administrative director, added, “Both NCA and PMCA were most grateful to the individuals and companies who graciously donated time and expertise to the success of the course including Sterling Thompson, Bill Vipperman and Jan Patrick of The Hershey Company; Steve Calhoun, Bob Riley and Tom Mackie of Masterfoods, USA; and Erdogan Ceylan of Silliker Laboratories, Inc.”
Course participants who earned a certificate of completion were:
Analee J. Rubio
This is the third technical course of its kind that NCA and PMCA have co-produced together in the past two years. Larry Graham, NCA President concluded, “NCA and PMCA have cultivated a healthy relationship over the past year and we will continue partnering together to provide the best technical education out there in confectionery.”