Interview with Tina Smith: A Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Employee Success Story

I learned that I'm smarter than I gave myself credit for. And there are things I knew from way back but didn't realize it until I took this course. It made me a better person and gave me confidence. The instructors were awesome; they made it fun. Tina Smith, machine operator, Green Mountain Coffee Roasters

Tina will celebrate her 20th year with GMCR in September 2010. She started as a temp operating a packaging machine and fulfilling orders. She has been a machine operator for nearly 19 years and now flavors coffee for Green Mountain.

Tina has seen a lot of changes during 20 years in terms of company growth and advances in technology.

Tina decided to enroll in the first Career Readiness Certificate course offered at GMCR but first had to take a test to see if she was ready. Based on her score, Prudence Sullivan and GMCR production supervisor Mike Vasseur cautioned Tina that if she tried the course right away, she might be setting herself up to fail. An adult learning coach was assigned to work with Tina to build her skills.

When Tina and her coach felt she was ready, Tina took the course and earned her CCV Career Readiness Certificate and a Bronze-level National Career Readiness Certificate. She is still working with her coach on her math skills, as she would like to retake the Applied Mathematics assessment and earn a Silver-level National Career Readiness Certificate.

The interview follows.

Was the course difficult?

“The math was difficult, but I breezed through the Reading for Information and Locating Information parts. The instructors never allowed me to give up on myself, and there were a few times when I wanted to.”

What did you gain from taking the course?

“Confidence in myself that I can do it. It might be hard, but I can do it.”

Anything else?

“I learned that I’m smarter than I gave myself credit for. And there are things I knew from way back but didn’t realize it until I took this course. It made me a better person and gave me confidence. The instructors were awesome; they made it fun.”

What are your goals and plans?

“I’ve been in production for a long time, and I’ve operated most every machine. I’d like to move on to a different area but absolutely want to stay with Green Mountain.”

Were the six modules helpful? Was the content what you needed it to be?

“Yes. We use numbers and Locating Information skills every day. You have to, to do the job.”

Anything else?

“I would not have had this opportunity if it were not for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters. If they hadn’t offered the course here through CCV, I would not have been able to get to where I am now.”

Related Stories