The 41-year-old Suffolk-native is taking her new career at the Hampton Farms Peanut Butter Plant in Franklin, Va. very seriously.
“What motivates me is meeting new people, learning new machinery – which I love – and the atmosphere,” said Howell. She is particularly proud when she knows that the product she produces is 100% quality.
“I want my coworkers and supervisors to know that I can produce a product that is done 100% properly,” she said. “And to be proud knowing that I always come into work and give the best of my ability.”
Howell worked with Reliance Staffing for several years, holding a number of temporary positions as she needed, and always excelling.
Her previous job, where she had also been placed full time by Reliance, was no longer going to use the machine she maintained and operated, so she sought to find another position.
“I called Stephanie [Lamb] (Reliance’s Suffolk Branch Manager) in December 2016 and told her I was at the point where I was ready for a new beginning. A couple of weeks later in January, this position became available.”
Now she is hopeful that Hampton Farms is her best match as she begins what she hopes is a long career with them. She was hired on as a full-time employee in June after working there for Reliance since January.“She takes initiative, learns quickly, and asks a lot of questions,” said Ronnie Bulls, Howell’s production supervisor. “Every day she’s asking about something new and constantly learning.”
And Holly Washington, Hampton Farms’ plant manager, also sees the energy and drive in Howell.
“She truly is just amazing to work with. She’s so driven and has such a positive, optimistic outlook. She’s always trying to learn to take things a step forward and make us better,” said Washington. “Vicky has been a perfect match for us, not just from a skill set and technical perspective, but culturally – fitting in with our team here, which is very important to us.”
And Howell is very happy with her time working with Reliance.
“Reliance is a very strong, open-door agency. I’ve seen people come in with probably not the best work history but Reliance is the type that will give you not one chance, not two chances, but I’ve seen them give people three chances,” she observed.
She also stated that sometimes the individual needs to look critically at their own performance if things seem to not be working out.
“Be smart. Be wise. Be yourself. Do the best you can,” she advises. “You have to be honest with yourself and with the people you are working with (at a staffing & recruiting company) who are looking and researching jobs for you. Because if you’re telling them one thing and they are finding employment opportunities for you somewhere else, it’s not going to work. You’re wasting yours, theirs, and some other job seeker’s time.”
She added that having a good relationship and open communication with the placement specialist is very helpful.
“Stephanie and I were honest with each other. And she knew that I had the drive and she would say, ‘Vicky, just go for what you’re good at, and I know you’re good, so you just give it your best.’ And I would give it my best because I knew Stephanie had a lot of hope for me in the working environment.”
Washington echoed Howell’s sentiment about working with the Suffolk Reliance branch:
“Stephanie and the team in Suffolk have been great to work with. For example, with Vicky, we needed someone with a very specific skill set for that position and Reliance went out and found the specific person to help us out. Stephanie has a great knack for listening to what we’re looking for and then filling that need – and does so in a very timely manner.”
“[Reliance is] the first place we go to when we have hiring needs,” she added.
As for Howell, she’s working hard and looking forward to her next opportunity at Hampton Farms.
“My next step is to be a production lead. And to get to that next step, I have to do what Ms. Washington said, and that is to learn every department. And she wants me to learn every department. And that’s my goal.”
“With Vicky, I think the sky’s the limit. She has really great potential and a long career path ahead of her. I’m very excited to see where it goes,” said Washington.
Hampton Farms is the leading roaster of in-shell peanuts in the United States. They produce and market almost anything having to do with a peanut, including peanut butter.Share this Post