Continuous Improvement (CI) Manager

  • 1829 1st Ave, Mankato, MN 56001, USA
  • Full-time
  • Sub-Department: Continuous Improvement
  • Department: Operations
  • Site Location: Mankato

Company Description

Running with Sasquatch is more than just a clever marketing campaign. As a Jack Link’s team member, Running with Sasquatch means we roll up our buffalo plaid sleeves and do the hard work first. We don’t shy away from challenges. In fact, we push hard and take risks. True to our North Woods roots, we're a bunch of ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things by driving results with innovation, creativity and a clear sense of urgency. Like our awesome protein products, we have an unwavering passion for quality, and you won’t find anything artificial here. What you see is what you get… authentic, humble and fun people who Run with Sasquatch!

Running with Sasquatch takes a team. We invite you to run with us, succeed with us, and celebrate with us. Most importantly, Feed Your Wild Side with us on our journey to be the dominant global leader of branded protein snacks!

Jack Link's Protein Snacks is a global leader in snacking and the No. 1 meat snack manufacturer worldwide. Still family-owned and operated with headquarters in Minong, Wisconsin, Jack Link’s also has a large corporate hub in Downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, and operates a total of 11 manufacturing and distribution facilities in four countries. Jack Link’s produces high-quality, great-tasting protein snacks that feed the wild sides of consumers around the world. Jack Link's Protein Snacks family of brands includes Jack Link's, Lorissa's Kitchen, World Kitchens Jerky, Bifi and Peperami.

Job Description

The Continuous Improvement Specialist is responsible for assisting the implementation of the Jack Link’s Continuous Improvement Process. The position will be a resource to the Plant Leadership and Performance System implementation teams facilitating meetings, kaizen events, metrics and assisting in the root cause problem solving processes within the facility.


The duties and responsibilities of this position shall consist of, but not be limited to, the following:

  • Be the plant level change agent responsible for leading and managing continuous improvement process.
  • Work along with the Plant Leadership Team to monitor plant targets and Key Performance Indicators and coordinate ideal utilization of facilities, equipment, materials, & personnel to improve efficiency of operations.
  • Establish action plans and follow-up meetings, as needed, to advance process improvements to achieve targets
  • Instill “hands-on,” systematic approach to problem solving (“Gemba”)
  • Continually challenge individuals and teams to improve through systematic application of continuous improvement methodologies and leading by example.
  • Manage the plant level Key Performance Indicator charting and posting process including daily, weekly and monthly KPI’s.
  • Simplify the data line performance collection process, automate if possible.
  • Leverage Statistics and other data analysis methods to provide data to plant teams and operational leadership to facilitate the improvement of operations within the facility.
  • Be a member on improvement teams to help with data analysis, problem solving and presentation of solutions to various levels of the organization.
  • Facilitate Kaizen Events to drive improvements in performance.
  •  Lead site’s Jack Link’s Performance System (JLPS) program for improvements.

  • Be the owner of the Simple Root Cause problem solving tool and train people on its use.
  • Implement a cost savings tracking process based on corporate process.
  • Other special projects as assigned.


Required Education

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial, Manufacturing, Business, Engineering, Food Science, or other related field. Will consider candidates with another technical degree and related experience.

Required Experience:

  • 3-5 years of experience in continuous improvement
  • 2 years of experience in a manufacturing environment
  • Six Sigma Lean training knowledge and experience
  • Experience in statistical process control, root-cause analysis, and or analytical methods


  • Six Sigma Green Belt certified


  • Ability to analyze data/inventory
  • Ability to multi-task in a fast paced environment
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; must work effectively with all levels of management and team members.
  • Demonstrated ability to diplomatically communicate needs and recommendations
  • Proven ability to build consensus across functions and shifts in a plant.
  • Actively seek to utilize a “Collaborative Team Approach” in all situations.
  • Demonstrated proactive style that ensures the completion of projects despite obstacles.
  • Ability to build interpersonal relationships within a manufacturing environment
  • Microsoft Office Skills - Strong Word, Excel and PowerPoint skills.

Additional Information

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to be successfully perform the essential functions of this job.  Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job the employee is regularly required to stand, walk, use hands to finger, handle, or feel, lift and/or move up to 25 pounds, and talk or hear.  The employee is occasionally required to sit, and reach with hands and arms.  The employee must rarely lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.  Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision.

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. The work environment is a plant / office setting with varying degrees of temperatures and noise levels. Exposure to manufacturing equipment movement and wet / slippery floors. Travel may be required.

Jack Link’s provides equal employment opportunity (EEO) to all persons regardless of age, color, national origin, citizenship status, physical or mental disability, race, religion, creed, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and/or expression, genetic information, marital status, status with regard to public assistance, veteran status, or any other characteristic that is protected by federal, state or local law.

Jack Link’s is participant in the federal E-Verify program to confirm the identity and employment authorization of all newly hired employees.  For information about the E-Verify program, please visit:

All your information will be kept confidential according to EEO guidelines.

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