Campbell Soup Company LTD Canada
Established in 1930 in New Toronto, Ontario, Campbell Soup Company Ltd. is one of Canada's major food manufacturers, and Campbell Soup Company's first foreign subsidiary. Operating plants in Etobicoke and Listowel, Ontario, Campbell Canada employs approximately 1,500 people across the country.
In 2003, Campbell Soup Company Ltd. began offering on-site GED® instructional courses to employees at its Listowel plant at different times of the day to accommodate workers on each of the company's three shifts. Although employees must attend class on their own time, the course and materials are free, and test fees are reimbursed. More than 40 employees enrolled in the first course.
To help ensure success, the plant offers tutoring to all participants. The tutors are other employees who "range from engineers to accountants, to quality assurance [staff] and managers," says Bonnie De Michele, Training Facilitator. "This gives the employees 24 extra hours to get help on top of taking the 14-plus hours [in class]." The plant is also planning an on-site graduation ceremony and lunch for employees who receive their GED® credentials.
Return on Investment
"We saw a great need for it," says De Michele. "We wanted to give the employees the opportunity to further their education." But it was also a business decision, De Michele adds. "It's a good way to improve morale"- and subsequently improve performance and retention.
A posting asked employees whether they would take the course and at what times. "We got a very good response," says De Michele. "The leadership team understood the benefits as well."
The company's goal is for 90 percent of employees who complete the course to pass the GED® Tests. "Our hope is that those who complete the program and receive their GED® will continue their education using tuition assistance. We see this program as a way of growing into the future," says De Michele.