PLYMOUTH, Wis. — A tinge of excitement framed Christine Lodes voice as she talked about her job at Sargento Foods in Plymouth.

“It’s so cool seeing the cheese literally get cut from blocks to shredded cheese into a bag and then into a box,” she said while fixing a bag deflator assembly on one of the company’s machines. ”Then all of a sudden, walking into a store and seeing that same exact bag in the stores. It’s just so cool being able to see that.”

Lodes is a maintenance technician with the Wisconsin-based company. It’s one of the largest suppliers of cheese in the nation.

Through business growth and increased consumer demand for shredded cheese through the pandemic, Sargento is looking for dozens more people to help fill jobs at its three main facilities in eastern Wisconsin.

It needs people like Lodes to keep the equipment running.

“When I have a machine together and running and all the bearings look good, the belts look good and everything just moves the way it’s supposed to and… I know that I left all of the machines like that, it feels really good,” she said.

Sargento is also looking for people to help with manufacturing at its facilities in Plymouth, Hilbert and Kiel.

Steve Cahoon, vice president of manufacturing, said the main traits they’re looking for from prospective employees is a willingness to work and learn.

“Within our manufacturing area you don’t need any experience, you just have to come with the right attitude,” he said. “Within our maintenance area, based on the level, there is some required experience needed, but having the right attitude, the right mindset and wanting to work hard and have fun together, that’s what we’re looking for.”

Each role in the company is aimed at delivering a quality product to customers.

Cody Wilterdink has been with Sargento four years as an operational quality specialist. He makes sure workers are following good manufacturing processes and the food leaving plants is safe.

“It gives me a sense of fulfillment being able to ensure that we are sending out safe products to our customers,” he said.

Lodes said she’s made friends with the people at work and it’s almost like a family. In some cases, it is. Her grandmother also works there.

“I walk through the hallways sometimes and I’ll say, ‘I love you grandma, have a good day,’ and everybody kind of turns around,” Lodes said with a laugh. “It’s not unheard of because a lot of people are family here and it’s really cool.”