Editor's Note: Attitude Adjustment: Happy days are here again

December 1, 2006
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For over a quarter of a century, Food Engineering has conducted an annual salary and job satisfaction survey. Over the years, our readers have provided some very candid insights about the ups and downs of a career in the food industry.

Food Engineering has conducted an annual salary and job satisfaction survey. Over the years, our readers have provided some very candid insights about the ups and downs of a career in the food industry. Fifteen years ago, hot topics included discrepancies between men’s and women’s paychecks as well as sexual harassment. Today these topics are rarely mentioned. However, doing more work with less staff is a theme that remains unchanged for nearly two decades.

Back in the ‘90s, our surveys showed that most readers were extremely stressed by the demand of their jobs. A decade ago, Food Engineering Salary Survey headlines declared: “Stress Levels Sizzle,” “Under the Gun” and “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.” In this issue, our readers report a positive job satisfaction rate of nearly 70 percent. What has changed in the manufacture of food that has given a majority of those surveyed an attitude adjustment?

Information technology and automated systems have made a huge difference in our industry. Increased job security has been another positive factor. Regardless of industry, all workers have come to terms with the fact that all employers need to produce more goods with less staff. Lean manufacturing, the quest for innovation and the need to reduce overall costs are no longer new initiatives, but are now status quo for food processors.

Food Engineering has also gone the extra mile to help our readers’ quest for innovation in manufacturing via our annual Food Automation Conference, to match food processors’ challenges and needs with innovative suppliers’ offerings at ProcessTechnologyXchange and now enhance specific plant floor technologies with the debut of the PlantTech Educational Seminar in June 2007.

Although you may be satisfied with your current position, no one surveyed reported that the work they are doing is without challenges. That is exactly what is keeping many of you engaged and enthusiastic. Let’s hope the happy days continue into 2007 and beyond.

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