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  Quality Assurance and R&D Engineer - Williston, VT



Vermont Smoke and Cure - Williston, VT




About Vermont Smoke & Cure At Vermont Smoke & Cure, we’ve been consciously crafting delicious smoked meats and meat snacks since 1962. We use humanely raised meats, whenever possible, and simple, local ingredients like Vermont maple syrup and apple cider, combined with the highest quality spices and herbs like tamarind and quarter crack pepper.
Our team of employee-owners makes everything in our smokehouse right here in the hills of Vermont. We pride ourselves on being a good neighbor and valuable partner to our local farmers. This is simply the way we do business – and the beauty is, it all combines to create the finest flavor in every bite.


The QA/R&D engineer position is a steward of VS&C's Food Safety and Quality systems (modeled in accordance with SQF Level 3 Code), and a leader of the research and development projects for new products and improved processes. The role is dedicated to supporting the success of our manufacturing teams in consistently meeting and improving our standards for processing and product quality.

Essential Functions :

  • Leads Research & Development projects and Commissioning, Qualification and Verification activities for new products and processes.
  • Leads the maintenance of raw, finished goods and process specifications and supporting documentation.
  • Trains and supports production team members on understanding and compliance with company policies and procedures in leadership of VS&C’s Food Safety and Quality systems.
  • Manages supplier approval and maintains supplier quality information, including raw material specifications and testing, standards compliance, and records of material conformance such as COAs, ingredients declaration, etc.
  • Develops and maintains policies, procedures, work instructions and records associated with the Food Safety and Quality systems, including HACCP/Food Safety and Food Quality Plans, Pre-Requisite Programs, and supporting documentation. Supports the verification and validation of CCPs and CQPs.
  • Works with USDA inspectors, SQF auditors, certification agencies, customers, or other designated parties reviewing the Company’s compliance to standards.
  • Contributes as a member in the Company’s Quality, HACCP, Safety, Food Defense and Business Continuity Teams.
  • Leads Corrective and Preventative Action problem solving and resolution events for Customer Complaints and other non-compliance issues. Maintains the documentation and reporting for CAPA, Complaint and other Key Performance Indicators for the Quality and Production functions.
  • Responsible for the analytical sampling and testing of ingredients, process and finished products, as well as the maintenance of shelf life and retained samples.
  • Be proactive in identifying and resolving unfavorable trends in critical areas through data analysis; contribute to the culture of continuous improvement.
  • This position requires a highly observant, detail oriented individual capable of designing experiments, solving problems, preparing and leading improvement plans, implementing sampling protocols, developing operational procedures, performing audits and application of fundamental statistical methods for process controls.

Experience :

  • Minimum of 8 years of higher education and/or work experience in related quality functions.
  • Training and experience with quality concepts and processes, including HACCP, TQM, Lean, Six Sigma, QFD, cost of quality, etc., and the application of quality tools such as Root Cause Analysis, FMEA, Flowcharts, Control and Pareto Charts, etc.
  • Experience with project management, including creation of charters, timelines, and team/resource coordination, especially relevant for new product development.
  • Training and experience with basic inspection and testing techniques, including various types of sampling plans, risk assessment, statistical techniques, measurement and test equipment and how to assess tool accuracy and tolerances.
  • Experience in the food manufacturing industry, with practical knowledge of regulatory, HACCP, GFSI and other applicable standards.

Competencies :

  • Functional/Technical Skills – Proficient in food science/chemistry related to recipe and process development, ideally with meat. Proven experience with quality and R&D tools, observation and problem solving, with application of statistical and functional analysis, process improvement and documentation.
  • Integrity and Trust – Given the critical role this position plays, the reliability of character is paramount. Builds effective partnerships and relationships with team members at all levels. Takes an inclusive approach to all quality activities.
  • Communication – Proactively communicates with team members, effective communicator; friendly and engaging style.
  • Problem Solving – Uses rigorous logic and methods to solve difficult problems with effective and practical solutions. Involves team members in problem solving/root cause corrective action.
  • Process & Project Management – effectively organizes people and activities, sees opportunities for synergy and integration, and how to simplify complex processes. Anticipates potential equipment issues and takes proactive steps to initiate processes and improvement methods to ensure efficient operation and reduce down time.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications – Word, Excel, Outlook and PowerPoint.

Supervisory Responsibility :
This position works in an environment in which safety, environmental and health concerns demand constant attention.

Work Environment :
This position currently has no direct reports. There is the opportunity for this position to grow to a departmental manager role.

Physical Demands :
The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to read, count and write to accurately complete all documentation. Must be able to operate and use all necessary equipment. Must be able to climb ladders, lift items that can weigh up to 50 pounds, stand on concrete floors and work in 38F rooms for some periods.

Expected Hours of Work: This is a full time position, scheduled to complement the manufacturing shifts. Standard hours of work are 7:00am to 4pm, but requires flexibility for evenings and weekends, with the possibility of at least a half-weekend day every other weekend.

Education :
Bachelor’s Degree is minimum, ideally with a food science/chemistry focus.

Vermont Smoke and Cure is an Equal Opportunity Employer

Job Type: Full-time

Required experience:

  • Quality Assurance and R&D experience: 1 year

Required education:

  • Bachelor's


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