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Lab Technician II

The Wine Group, 85 Bourne St., Westfield, New York, United States of America Req #147
Thursday, April 30, 2020
At The Wine Group we are passionate about our people, our future and our wine. We are America’s second largest wine producer by volume with over 1,200 employees globally across 12 locations in California, New York and Australia. We are proud to be responsible for many of America’s most beloved wine brands, including Cupcake, Franzia, Chloe, Concannon, Benziger, Imagery, AVA Grace, 7 Deadly and more. We are dedicated to our culture built on values like entrepreneurialism, innovation, social responsibility and stewardship. To learn about us and our career opportunities, check us out at www.thewinegroup.com and then come join the exciting journey at The Wine Group. 

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JOB SUMMARY
 
Lab Technicians perform analytical analysis, product and packaging quality assessments, including issue investigation and resolution to ensure the quality of the lab’s work, quality of our wines and quality of our finished products. Lab Technicians work to meet or exceed the quality expectations and regulatory requirements of our varied customers, both internal and external. Technicians must have integrity, a good attitude, perseverance, be flexible, and work as part of a team. Lab Technicians possess a sense of urgency, take initiative and work with the highest attention to detail. Areas of responsibility include performing a wide range of analytical analysis, sanitation validation, and where applicable audits of product quality and processes as well as microbial stability evaluation of wines in tank or barrel, bulk export and or packaged wines in addition to a wide range of quality or food safety related projects.  Lab Technicians must operate the variety of instrumentation/tools, and computer systems utilized to perform the job functions and participate in tests and projects as assigned. Higher Level Technicians take on additional duties and responsibilities.

ESSENTIAL FUNCTIONS

All Lab EEs:

  • Actively commit to and participate in our lab and corporate safety programs: including following all safety protocols and procedures. Learning to recognize and report hazards and take appropriate action to keep yourself and others safe. Participate in safety programs, activities, including delivering safety trainings on a variety of topics.
  • Effectively communicate and collaborate with colleagues, within the team, the facility and across all functional areas the lab interacts with. Share information, participate in meetings etc.
  • Evaluate any results you generate using the various tools to ensure you and our customers can be and are confident in the Lab’s output. Includes using analytical controls, referencing standards/specifications, etc.

All Lab Technicians I-III:

  • Perform analysis at all stages of the winemaking process from grape samples to consumer complaints utilizing appropriate methods per SOPs. Operate and assist in maintaining the varied laboratory instruments and equipment utilized, such as auto-titrators, spectrophotometers, densitometers, GCs, HPLCs, NIR or IR analyzers, balances, pH meters, etc. Capture complete, accurate and thorough results.
  • Play a key role in bottling/export tank approval process
  • Perform process audits, compliance verification and or package quality assessments.
  • Assist in identifying and resolving issues and/or taking appropriate action on sanitation issues, analysis issues, lab related harvest issues, etc.  Seek input as appropriate. (Varies by facility).
  • At bottling locations, initiate non-conforming product processes to capture and contain issues with finished products and packaging material issues. Requires ability to capture details/data and communicate in writing to a varied audience and containing impacted product in the JDE INV system. Seek input as appropriate. 
  • Perform instrument maintenance, validation, calibration as appropriate on lab related testing instruments in use on the bottling lines.
  • Perform sanitation validation and troubleshooting through swabbing, record and data review etc.
  • Utilize proper aseptic techniques and skills, perform the multiple duties involved in micro plating. This includes proper preparation, plating technique, media preparation, and record keeping.  
  • Participate in and support our Food Safety Management Programs as a part of your routine duties.
  • Make quality and process improvement suggestions and follow through to implement as appropriate.
  • Data management: Input and evaluate data, perform calculations to determine basic statistical parameters. Utilize technology; computers, and specific software for managing processes including WMS, VA, and Microsoft Office Suite.
  • Recognize common issues, collect data/information for common or less complex issues, seek direction on resolution.
  • Assist in improving, updating and maintaining the various tools used, including SOPs, Forms, Specifications, Response plans, etc.
  • As directed, train Lab Assistants, new or less experienced technicians on specific lab responsibilities.
  • Help maintain a clean, safe laboratory facility. Follow good laboratory practices and lead by example.
  • Monitor, maintain, calibrate and troubleshoot routine common issues with lab equipment and instrumentation.

Level II – in addition to above

  • Maintains a TTB certified chemist status and signs COAs.
  • This includes proper microbe ID, microscope work, preparing streak plates, evaluating results, taking appropriate follow up action such as placing product on hold. May involve running PCR.
  • Act as a packaging material champion on issue investigations, working with vendors, supply chain etc., ensuring resolution and prevention.
  • With direction from winemaking and or quality management, provide oversite to cellar/bottling sanitation processes and programs.
  • Assist in investigating, resolving and dispositioning finished product HOLDs through to completion.
  • Act as a key member of a Food Safety Team.
  • Manage lab supplies inventory.

  • Support and model all company procedures and policies
  • Must embrace and demonstrate The Wine Group Core Values - Performance, Empowered and Cost-mindful, and keep them in mind when making all decisions
  • This job description reflects management’s assignment of essential functions; it does not prescribe or restrict the tasks that may be assigned

QUALIFICATIONS

  • High school diploma or equivalent.
  • Winery or CPG lab/quality experience preferred.
  • Demonstrated reliability and punctuality, work effectively in team/crew environment, adherence to all safety and food safety regulations and operating procedures.
  • Must be able to work rotating shifts and overtime.
  • Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions and procedures/protocols. 
  • Ability to effectively communicate both verbally and in writing and collaborate effectively within the team, with colleagues across departments and with outside vendors/customers.
  • Knowledge of good laboratory practices, including sample and reagent preparation techniques, sample handling and good record keeping.
  • Ability to apply concepts such as percentages, ratios and proportions to practical situations.
  • Ability to prioritize while able to adapt to changing priorities
  • Computer skill requirements include basic MS Outlook, Word and Excel  

Level II

  • BS degree in chemistry, food science, biology, process technology, quality assurance, enology, or related field or 5 years relevant experience; or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Computer skills: Excel pivot tables, charts, JDE, WMS (site specific) Instrument software, Intelex, MS Word, MS Power Point.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS

  • Must be able to occasionally lift and carry weights of up to 50 pounds
  • Possess the ability to work in a fast-paced production environment
  • Working environment is both indoors and outdoors, with exposure to related equipment and noise levels
  • Ability to perform tasks requiring bending, stooping, standing, and twisting in the laboratory and or production environment
  • Must be able to occasionally climb 20 feet tank stairs/vertical tank ladders

   

At The Wine Group, we are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and we are committed to an environment of mutual respect, diversity and inclusion. Qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information, national origin, disability, protected veteran status or other characteristic protected by law.

Other details

  • Job Family Winery Operations
  • Job Function Operations
  • Pay Type Hourly
  • The Wine Group, 85 Bourne St., Westfield, New York, United States of America