The Vermont chocolate company said the fourth quarter is the busiest time of year, but hiring seasonal staff to make, package, and ship the chocolate has been harder than ever before.
Step in Rhino Foods, another established Vermont Company. As this is Rhino Foods’ slowest time of the year they have extra staff available for work. Instead of turning employees away for those weeks, Rhino is lending them to Lake Champlain Chocolates.
“It’s really a win-win for both companies,” says Rooney Castle, Vice President of Rhino Foods. “Lake Champlain Chocolates has access to highly-trained food manufacturing employees, and we can continue to offer a paycheck and benefits without interruption to our staff.”
For Lake Champlain Chocolates, it is truly a life saver. The company has been calling upon everyone to help out, including requesting administrative staff to take shifts in the factory.
“This is always a busy time of year and it’s not unusual for employees to step out of their regular role to spend a day in shipping or packaging to push through those particularly busy days,” said Mary Wylde, Director of People and Culture at LCC. “This year, however, is a completely different story. We’re down a significant number of seasonal hires, couple that with record sales, and it becomes a real challenge.”
The goal is for 10 Rhino employees to work through until 23 December. This represents a labour increase of about 22% over the course of those working days. It will also give the LCC staff a reprieve from the constant overtime they have been working.
“We’ll provide the Rhino employees with mentors and the training they need to be successful. Plus, an abundance of chocolate so it is a positive and rewarding experience for them,” said Wylde.