Lead Lab Tech

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Williamsport, PA 17701
United States
Job Description

Owned by 250+ family farms, Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. is a food and beverage company that has offered innovative, award-winning, high-quality dairy products since 1965. Our progressive cooperative’s success is based on a commitment to quality in everything we do that extends to every stage of operations, from our farms to the consumer. Our product offerings include milk, flavored milk, yogurt, dip, sour cream, cottage cheese, Italian cheese, and ice cream mix marketed under the Upstate Farms®, Bison®, Milk for Life®, and Intense Milk® brands.


Under direction of the Quality Assurance Manager, the Lead Lab Technician performs required laboratory testing in accordance with SOPs and is the first contact for production operators and supervisors regarding production quality issues.


  1. Performs analyses and participate in routine laboratory activities to determine compliance with FDA, State Regulations, and Company Standards.

  2. Leads and directs Laboratory Technicians to efficiently complete work required for shift.

  3. Act as first contact for Production (Operators and Supervisors) and Laboratory Technicians to assist in solving quality issues related to production.

  4. Responsible for contacting QA Management for consult if required for production/lab quality issues.

  5. Generate and distribute electronic Laboratory Shift Report at end of each shift.

  6. Verifies laboratory testing is accurate and completed following SOPs. Will take immediate action to address quality and food safety related non-conformances to assure timely resolution.

  7. Reviews all testing data and paperwork (batch sheets, calculations for batch standardizing/adjustments, etc.) for scanning/distribution.

  8. Will continually review and audit manufacturing procedures to ensure that all operations follow established practices and procedures. Will immediately bring any nonconformances to the attention of the appropriate individuals and assure that corrective actions are taken and are effective.

  9. Will be familiar with Federal and State regulatory requirements and will be responsible for ensuring that the facility is in compliance. Should be continually aware of new requirements and regulations.  Will be responsible for assisting during inspections and audits with customers and regulatory agencies.

  10. Will maintain, update, and enforce all Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) guidelines through coordination with Quality Assurance Manager

  11. To work effectively with Plant Management and Corporate Quality Assurance to establish and validate all sanitation practices and perform periodic audits to assure compliance. May assist in the evaluation of new products and techniques which may be more effective for the company.

  12. Will work closely with the Laboratory Associates and Quality Manager to assure that all personnel are appropriately trained. May be required to perform analyses and participate in routine laboratory activities as necessary.

  13. Work with Production Associates to establish procedures for quality assessments of incoming goods and raw materials. Will work with Purchasing personnel to establish and enforce quality standards and specifications on such goods with vendors.

  14. Support the maintenance of the SQF program for the plant.

  15. Will be responsible for purchasing lab supplies, coordinating lab tasks, maintenance and calibration of lab testing equipment, provide coaching and guidance to lab technicians in support of continuous improvement initiatives.

  16. Will prepare samples in accordance with customer and regulatory sampling requirements.

  17. Prepare customer Certificates of Analysis and ensure their accuracy for each delivery.

  18. Willing to work off shifts to support the cleaning & sanitation program. Will assist sanitation department by conducting visual inspections, verifying effectiveness of CIP systems, and will provide coaching and guidance to Sanitation supervisor and technicians performing sanitation duties.

  19. Maintain area cleanliness, report leaks and/or out of spec product, and participate in continuous improvement efforts.

  20. Follow all safety requirements, including but not limited to, housekeeping, lock out/tag out, PPE, fall protection, and facility safety efforts.

  21. Perform other duties as requested by the Quality Assurance Manager

* In the absence of the Quality Assurance Manager, the Lead Lab Technician will split the Manager’s duties with the Corporate Quality Manager – Fluid.


The Lead Laboratory Technician is exposed, on a daily basis, to Upstate Niagara and Customer product specifications and information meant for internal use, such as ingredients, product loss, etc. that must remain confidential.


The Lead Laboratory Technician is an individual contributor with authority to train and direct the work of Lab Technicians and enforce GMP within the facility. The Lead Laboratory Technician does not have the authority to hire, fire, promote, or discipline another employee.


  • The Lead Laboratory Technician is exposed, on a daily basis, to Upstate Niagara and Customer product specifications and information meant for internal use, such as ingredients, product loss, etc. that must remain confidential.

  • Must be a minimum of 18 years of age.


  • Three to five years related laboratory experience and/or training or an equivalent combination of education (minimum AS or AAS) and experience. 

  • Experience should include active involvement in Laboratory Testing, preferably in the Food and Beverage industry.  

  • Knowledge of Quality Management Systems, HACCP, and statistical process control is desired. 

  • Strong personal computer skills are required.


  • Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or government regulations.

  • Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals. 

  • Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from group managers, clients, customers, and general public.


  • While performing the duties of the job, the employee is frequently required to speak or hear. 

  • The employee is occasionally required to stand, reach with hands and arms, and climb or balance.

  • The employee must regularly lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 55 pounds. 

  • Specific vision abilities of this job include close vision, color vision, peripheral vision, and ability to adjust focus.


  • The Lead Laboratory Technician performs duties in both a laboratory and a manufacturing environment.

  • While performing the duties of this position, the employee is regularly exposed to wet and/or humid conditions, as well as milk and egg allergens. 

  • The employee is occasionally exposed to moving mechanical parts and toxic or caustic chemicals.  The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Pay: $25.50/hr.

Upstate Niagara Cooperative, Inc. is committed to equal employment opportunity for all, without regard to race, religion, color, national origin, citizenship, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, veteran status, disability, genetic information, or any other protected characteristic.