Junior Operator Technician M/W

Number of employees


Decatur (Illinois), United States

Posted on: 2024-03-12

Category: food

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Employment type:

Full time

Experience required:



Salary not provided

About the company:

InnovaFeed is a biotech company that produces natural and sustainable ingredients for animal feed and plant nutrition from insect rearing (Hermetia illucens). 

We contribute to the growth of a high-quality fish farming sector by providing a new source of sustainable, natural and high-performance protein. We also produce high-quality insect oil than can be used in poultry and swine feed, as an alternative to imported oils. Our oil is rich in lauric acid, known for its anti-microbial properties. Finally, insect dejections are used as an organic fertilizer, closing the nitrogen loop in a circular way. 

InnovaFeeds’ innovating insect rearing process is deployed on an industrial scale to address the strain on natural resources in a responsible and sustainable way. 

Leveraging expertise at the forefront of biotech research, our unique model is supported by many key actors in the scientific, political and financial fields.

Do you want to contribute to building a more natural and sustainable food system? Do you want to work for a company that cares about its employees and its social and environmental impact?
Our Decatur based company is the affiliate of a French parent company who is a world leader in alternative animal proteins. We breed and process Black Soldier Flies, insects that are used as a new, environmentally friendly ingredient in pet food 🐟 🐤 and as an organic fertilizer 🌱. 
The success of our project depends on having a team that shares our values and goals. We are looking for candidates who would be available to start as early as March 25th 2024 at our Decatur facility in Illinois. The regular shift would be Monday to Friday 7AM-3:30PM.
If you feel that you share our values and have the skills and experience described here, we’d love to hear from you!
Primary Responsibilities
You will rotate across workshops and participate in the following activities:
Operate a manual Mixing & Injection process which includes:
- Material Reception: operate forklift to load and unload IBCs and Combo Boxes
- Formulation: Manual dosing of different ingredients for batch preparation:
- Mixing: Manual mixing of the ingredients
- Injection: Through a semi-manual process pump the mixed product into trays
Operate Larva Process
Positioning of the stacks and piles in respective storage rooms
- Make rounds of checks to monitor condition and health during the larva growth
- Sampling and counting of end of pre-growth Juveniles
Operate the Sieving Process (Manually or Automatic)
- Manual process: Shoveling of the product onto sieving mesh and sampling lots
- Automatic process: Safely operate (e.g.: LOTO) machine via a control panel
- Troubleshoot failures, reset alarms and operate the equipment
Operate Egg Process
- Make rounds of checking in on the cages for Flies conditioning/health monitoring
- Perform cages cleaning at the end of the cycle (remove dead flies)
- Handle the ovipos (attractant for the flies to lay eggs) at cages
- Daily collection of Egg Collectors and manual scratching off the eggs
- Weigh the hatched eggs
Across these workshops, you will participate in the following team activities:
 Cleaning of the areas and equipments 
Performance Analysis & Tracking (computer and/ or tablets)
- Take samples, test, input results and catalog samples for backup
- Check feedstock or product specifications (eg: Dry Mater, pH, Temperature)
- Visual inspection and catalog results

To be an effective Operator Technician, you need a combination of technical skills, problem-solving abilities, and personal qualities:
Technical Experience and Problem-Solving Skills: strong manual dexterity and experience in operations. Ability to troubleshoot and implement effective solutions promptly and accurately. Ability to read and interpret process manuals and work orders. Proactively look for potential maintenance issues or signs of wear and tear to prevent major breakdowns and repairs. Efficiently prioritize and manage tasks to meet maintenance schedules and minimize downtime. 
Personal Qualities:
- Curiosity and Attention to detail: You are interested in learning new skills and understanding how your activities support the overall process. You’re meticulous in performing tasks and maintain accurate records of results.
- Be Flexible, a Team Player and a Good Communicator: You can handle a variety of operational tasks and challenges, and quickly adjust to changing priorities. You’re a self-starter with a “go getter attitude” who is able to communicate clearly and collaborate effectively with other team members to achieve common goals and maintain a harmonious work environment. You take the initiative to identify potential maintenance improvements or areas of concern and propose solutions to enhance efficiency and reduce maintenance issues.

If working in a customer-facing environment, you know how to be courteous and helpful.
- Have a Growth Mindset: you constantly learn and thrive to use the latest techniques, technologies, and industry best practices. You are willing to participate in technical and company policy related training.

Physical Requirements
The Operator Technician must be able to:
- Lift heavy objects (up to 50lbs)
- Climb ladders, steps & stairs, and otherwise perform physically demanding tasks;
- Stand / walk on concrete & uneven surfaces throughout the shift;
- Bend & kneel for tasks
- Be capable of climbing ladders, steps, & stairs and work in a variety of extreme weather conditions (hot & cold temperatures, humid conditions, & dusty environments)
- Handle strong smell that arises from the fermentation process of the substrate and growth process of the larvas
Other Requirements
- Education - High School Diploma or GED (good to have)
- Minimum of 1 year experience in operational role
- Similar experience in an agri-food process is a plus.
- Familiarity with industrial machinery operation and basic maintenance procedures.
- Ability to read and interpret process manuals and work orders
- Strong attention to detail and quality-oriented mindset
- Excellent problem-solving skills and the ability to work as part of a team
- Basic computer skills for data recording and equipment control interfaces
- Knowledge of safety protocols and practices related to industrial settings
As an Operator Technician, you will contribute to the production of high-quality goods while maintaining a safe and efficient manufacturing environment. Your dedication to precision and adherence to safety protocols will be invaluable in ensuring the success of our industrial operations.
This full-time hourly position has a wage range of $23-24 per hour depending upon experience.
Due to the fluidity and nature of this role, working overtime and on-call duty on weekends/holidays may be required in the future. Fair compensation at a regular rate of 1.5x will be ensured for any overtime worked and an appropriate schedule will be coordinated with your first line supervisor.
Benefits (full-time):
- Health Insurance
- Retirement Benefits
- Paid time off: 20 days of vacation, plus paid leave and public holidays
- Laptop (if needed)
Please submit all resumes to [email protected]
Drug Testing and Screening
As part of our commitment to maintaining a safe, productive, and drug-free workplace, job offers are conditional upon candidates passing a drug test before finalizing their employment. The test will encompass screenings for illegal drugs and controlled substances.
EEO Statement
Innovafeed is committed to a policy of Equal Employment Opportunity and will not discriminate against an applicant or employee based on actual or perceived race, color, religion, creed, national origin, ancestry, ethnicity, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender, age, physical or mental disability, citizenship status, work authorization status, past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, military status, unfavorable discharge from military service, genetic information, order of protection status, marital status, arrest record, conviction record (unless there is a substantial relationship between the previous criminal offenses and the position or the employment would involve an unreasonable risk to property or to the safety or welfare of specific individuals or the general public), or other protected classes recognized by applicable federal or local law.

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