Thursday, March 17, 2022

Hiring a new kind of manufacturing talent in Salina, Kansas


By Christopher Wiseman

Senior Director of Manufacturing, Salina, Kansas

March 17, 2022 — Schwan’s Company is about to introduce the world to the future of food manufacturing. It’s a bold statement for sure, but it’s one I believe is true.

Right now, in Salina, Kansas, we are creating what we believe is the most automated pizza manufacturing facility in the world. It’s a 400,000-square-foot expansion that combines the most modern technology with the most state-of-the-art production equipment. It’s also a facility that will require a new kind of talent to operate; a talent that requires a higher degree of skill and responsibility.

If you think about a traditional manufacturing facility, much of our people’s time is spent setting up machines and manually maintaining the manufacturing processes. The role can be very task driven.

With the high-level of automation in our new Salina facility, employees will spend much more of their time interacting with technology in ways not available in a traditional food manufacturing setting. They will use mobile devices and programs to adjust and improve performance. They will also have the ability to troubleshoot any issues in real time using error codes and their basic understanding of the equipment.

The information that will be available goes far beyond the performance of the equipment the operator is responsible for. Our operators will also be able to see what is happening anywhere in the building. So, if you work in the packaging area, for example, and there is an issue in the bakery, you can be alerted to the issue, understand how it could affect you and you can make appropriate adjustments.

If you think about the future of manufacturing, the industry is shifting in the direction of being highly automated. The careers are shifting toward engaging and interacting with robotics and high-end production equipment.

In Salina, we are leading the development of these new manufacturing careers. We are developing a workforce that understands how a manufacturing facility works, how their systems work and how they can use technology to make an impact.

If your future is in food manufacturing, your future is in Salina, Kansas.

About the Salina expansion

Schwan’s is currently building a 400,000-square-foot expansion to the existing Salina, Kansas, pizza plant. Company leaders announced the expansion project in August 2020. Construction on the facility began in September 2020 and will continue throughout 2022. Schwan’s expects to be making pizza in the new expansion by the end of the year.

The expansion, which is part of a major investment in Salina, will include automated state-of-the-art pizza-production lines, shipping and receiving docks, and office space.


To operate the highly automated facility with state-of-the-art production lines and equipment, Schwan’s is creating more than 200 full-time jobs for the Salina area. Many of these new jobs will be higher paying and require a high level of technical expertise, asking employees to operate, maintain and ensure the reliability of the equipment they use each day


Some of the roles will include electrical controls engineers and process engineers. Experts on production, packaging and bakery operations, as well as leadership positions are also needed.  


Schwan’s began hiring for these positions earlier this year and will continue to hire into 2022. Job details can be found at

Popular Posts