Title:  Continuous Improvement Associate Manager

Requisition ID:  2794

Portland, OR, US, 97217

Department:  Quality
Travel:  Up to 25%

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At Graphic Packaging International, we produce the paper cup that held your coffee this morning, the basket that transported those bottles of craft beer you enjoyed last weekend, and the microwave tray that heated your gourmet meal last night. We’re one of the largest manufacturers of paperboard and paper-based packaging for some of the world’s most recognized brands of food, beverage, foodservice, household, personal care and pet products. Headquartered in Atlanta, Georgia, we are collaborative, diverse, innovative individuals who create inspired packaging while giving back to our communities. 


With over 25,000 employees working in more than 130 locations worldwide, we strive to be environmentally responsible in our industry and in the communities where we operate. We are committed to workplace diversity and offer compensation and benefits programs that are among the industry’s best to reward the talented people who make our company successful.


If this sounds like something you would like to be a part of, we’d love to hear from you.


A World of Difference. Made Possible.



The CI Manager is to lead all activities and functions to execute an effective quality system and continuous improvement process.  The manager must supervise the lab personnel to meet organizational goals.  The manager must lead the cultural changes needed to achieve our business results.  The manager must drive problem solving and good, timely decision making.  The manager must be a role-model and hold people accountable for demonstrating the company core values.   The successful candidate must be a change agent to employ lean tools to achieve continuous improvement.




  • Achieve budgeted EBITDA
  • Meet Lab budget 


Cost Reduction/CI/Lean

  • Deliver cost savings of $1MM/year
  • Maintain a CI project pool equal to 100% of budgeted CI savings
  • Control labor rates by reducing monthly discretionary overtime to 5% of total hours


Environmental, Safety & Health

  • Lead and implement organizational changes to reduce Recordable Incident Rate < 1.0 and Lost Time Incident Rate < 0.3 and 30 Hazard Mitigations
  • Meet OSHA/corporate/plant safety and environmental requirements
  • Lead and implement organizational changes to achieve a Safety 24/7 Incident-Free Culture
  • Complete monthly safety training and ensure 100% completion by lab team


Quality / Service

  • Achieve Complaints/10M < 4.93
  • Achieve RPPM<545
  • Achieve DPPM <475
  • Achieve Claims % of sales < 0.05%
  • Achieve COV of 6.0%
  • Work with operations to improve problem solving skills in supervisors and operators



  • Utilize the culture survey scores to lead and implement organizational changes to achieve a culture that delivers our required business results 
  • Hold at least one toolbox meeting/month


JOB FUNCTIONS: Job functions include, but are not limited to the following.

  1. Implement product quality plans and procedures by overseeing inspection testing requirements, frequency, responsibility, and methods to assure compliance to process and product specifications..
  2. Lead the plant’s 2 SQF Practiciioners to maintain SQF certification and pass annual audit
  3. Direct activities, duties and projects for continuous improvement.
  4. Supervise lab hourly personnel.
  5. Serve as change agent in institutionalizing Lean concepts and methodology, leading cross-functional teams to ensure optimum process design and implementation.
  6. Lead continuous improvement efforts in a manner that achieves buy-in from employees and facilitates effective and lasting change to improve plant safety, quality, delivery, and cost.
  7. Identify and lead training for operations in quality tools.
  8. Manage the non-conforming material including Q-holds and rewinds.
  9. Coordinate with suppliers, internal and external, on raw material quality issues
  10. Maintain the Graphic Packaging Customer Complaint system in SAP.  Ensure complaints are analyzed and responded to on a timely basis. 
  11. Produce required quality reports for the plan and division.
  12. Serve as champion for Six Sigma, Lean, and other CI projects.
  13. Additional duties as assigned.



  • 5 years’ experience in continuous improvement in manufacturing
  • 3 years’ supervisory experience
  • Experience with packaging converting equipment (coaters, extruders, presses, and slitting machines) is a plus



  • Bachelor of Science – Mechanical, Chemical, or Electrical Engineering
  • Knowledge of standard engineering practices
  • Knowledge of Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma
  • Knowledge of SPC theories
  • Knowledge of SQF



  • Action oriented and self-motivated:  enjoys working hard acts with the right amount of planning.  Seizes opportunities to achieve goals and improve the process.
  • Hands-on individual with keen interest in quickly learning and applying new skills who can follow written/verbal instructions and meet deadlines with minimal supervision
  • Establishes clear expectations and inspects the expectations to ensure they are being met.
  • Ability to hold employees accountable in a positive principled way and confront them as needed to ensure policies are followed and performance goals are met
  • Track record of developing direct reports and others
  • Adheres to an the corporate core values and beliefs during good times and bad
  • Ability to provide current, direct, complete, and “actionable” positive and corrective feedback to others
  • Creates a safety 24/7 culture to move us toward our goal of an injury-free workplace
  • Creates a climate in which people want to do their best and invites input from employees.
  • Solid problem solving skills utilizing rigorous logic and methods to solve difficult problems with effective solutions
  • Ability to lead efforts to react quickly to changing requirements and new processing developments.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills to be able to communicate with all levels of the organization
  • Good organizational skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills
  • Computer literate - able to use Word, Excel, Outlook




Salary Min:   $84 630,00

Salary Mid:   $112 770,00

Salary Max:  $141 015,00


Graphic Packaging is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All candidates will be evaluated on the basis of their qualifications for the job in question. We do not base our employment decision on an employee's or applicant's race, color, religion, age, gender or sex (including pregnancy), national origin, ancestry, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic identity, genetic information, disability, veteran/military status or any other basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law. Click here to view the Poster, EEO is the Law.


Nearest Major Market: Portland Oregon