Liquibox, a liquid packaging and dispensing products manufacturer, has been working with Workforce Strategy Consultant Della Ludwig since July. Representatives of Liquibox attended a Workforce Wednesday seminar focused on untapped labor pools and reached out to Della, who serves central Minnesota. Liquibox has a location in Lester Prairie, Minnesota.
By providing resources for local connections in Minnesota, and helping them build those relationships, Della has helped Liquibox, connect with overlooked communities in Lester Prairie and overcome hiring barriers.
"Della has shared so much fantastic information with us, we just wish that all of our locations had resources to assist our employees to this level,” Angie Gibson, the Director of Human Resources for Liquibox’s North America locations, said.
Using a resource Della provided, Thalia, the Human Resources Generalist for Liquibox’s Lester Prairie location, reached out to a local organization that focuses on the Latino and Hispanic community in Minnesota to connect with any potential candidates. She also asked about resources that could assist their current Spanish-speaking staff who might need help with taxes, housing, finding an attorney, and other assistance.
“A lot of people from the Latino and Hispanic communities are coming here [to Liquibox] now because they’re starting to hear ‘hey, they speak Spanish there, HR speaks Spanish, the supervisors speak Spanish’ so let’s go there. We might be welcomed there,” Thalia said.
JanChris, an employee at Liquibox, said his work at Liquibox has been “a very positive experience, my coworkers have given me a warm welcome and being part of a Latino community at work that is so diverse is a very pleasant and enriching experience. I feel at home, and that's a very difficult feeling to get but in this place I feel like a very big family.”
Liquibox has seen a 32% increase in Hispanic and Latino employees hired since Thalia started.
Thalia continued, “I know that with the resources Della provided, I’m sure we’re going to get more responses, not just from entry-level wage workers, but from salaried engineers, who are people we want to attract as well.”
“There are so many great resources in those Workforce Wednesday communications,” Thalia went on to say. “They are just jam-packed with resources and information. And it’s a coalition of so many counties and areas coming together to converge and talk. It’s not just a resource for the employer, but a resource for the counties to hear what other places are doing, to see what kind of programs are in place, and I think that’s a great resource for everybody.”
Liquibox is a global leader in liquid packaging and dispensing. The company is headquartered in Richmond, Virginia, with facilities in 21 locations around the world.
Thalia added that the Liquibox manufacturing facility is a highly regulated environment that is kept in pristine condition and requires employees to abide by and uphold food and medical grade regulations. They provide education and training for employees and leave room for advancement.
“Manufacturing companies are regularly investing in new technology,” Angie said. “We’re using our investment in technology to then invest in our employees, to train them to run this technology.”
Angie continued, saying that despite what people may think, there are many manufacturing jobs available, and despite the myth that many manufacturing jobs are entry-level positions, there are plenty of people in manufacturing that have a degree and utilize it in their work.
Liquibox pays well-above minimum wage, starting at $18 an hour for entry-level positions, and all full-time employees are offered benefits with no wait time on vacation and holiday pay and first of the month insurance qualification.
“It’s a great job, with steady, stable schedule… We’re always looking to see who we can promote from within,” Thalia said. “It’s a really open environment, you’re not just a number.”
Liza, an employee at the Liquibox Lester Prairie location, said similarly. “I'm having a very good experience, learning a lot of new skills. There is a lot of teamwork and solidarity between employees and management. Super happy with the growth opportunities for the Latino community."
One of the biggest hiring barriers Liquibox has faced is the competition for workers in the current tight labor market, as well as attracting talent for their location in Greater Minnesota. They are hiring for many positions now, with their biggest focus on finding engineering technicians and those with experience working in plastic injection molding.
Liquibox is utilizing the resources recommended to them by Della, and they’re finding success. To engage with career seekers, Thalia and Angie advise starting the conversation with your local CareerForce location or their regional Workforce Strategy Consultant.