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Hershey’s First Bilingual Plant in U.S. a Resounding Success

The company’s “Say Hola” initiative has resulted in the hiring of highly qualified employees, improved retention, and equity.

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Hershey’s first bilingual manufacturing facility, located in Hazleton, Pa., which initiated the company’s “Say Hola” initiative nearly a year ago, now seamlessly integrates Spanish- and English-speaking employees. Hershey launched the initiative to equip employees with the tools and resources needed to succeed, regardless of their primary language.

Since launching the “Say Hola” initiative, the plant has seen an increase in employee retention and highly experienced individuals applying for positions. In fact, more than 90% of the facility’s recruitment classes now have the desired manufacturing experience versus 50% of recruitment classes prior to the program launch. The program also has reduced recruitment costs, in addition to enriching employee experience and ensuring a work environment that’s accessible and equitable.

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Through the program, the program:

  • Conducts training in both English and Spanish
  • Produces all signs, labels, and forms in both Spanish and English
  • Ensures bilingual employees and resources are made available on the floor to support communication
  • Maintains a 24/7 1-800 number for assistance

Hershey will use key learnings from this initiative to move its people-first manufacturing vision forward and support its overarching diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) roadmap.

“At the frontline of our business, our manufacturing employees make what we do possible and are a driving force behind our recent supply chain investments,” says Jason Reiman, SVP, chief supply chain officer. “By delivering exceptional and inclusive experiences for employees, their families and the greater communities, we are doubling down on our legacy commitment to ensure Hershey is a top workplace for manufacturing workers, so that people can grow within our company.”

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