Canner Operator

Mennonite Central Committee

Mennonite Central Committee is currently searching for a 2-year Service Worker to join the MCC Mobile Meat Canner team this coming season! Each year since 1946, MCC has sent out a mobile meat canner, which MCC workers and volunteers use to preserve hundreds of thousands of cans of meat for communities in need across the globe. Canner operators travel with the meat canner to 34 different locations across the US and Canada, canning beef, turkey, chicken, and pork. Canners are responsible for all aspects of the project including: operating steam and pressure vessels, coordinating volunteers, maintaining and communicating USDA regulations, and the maintenance of all machinery in the canning process. Lifelong relationships are forged, opening new doors for life after canning.


1. Commitment to Christ and the work of the church
2. Single Male (living with three other men who are part of the canning team)
3. Ability to work alongside others as a team
4. Adaptable to new places and people
5. Capable of repeatedly lifting 75 pounds
6. Ability to relate to volunteer groups and appreciate the various diversities. Canner Operators will use skills of discretion, judgment and creative ability to communicate with all MCC volunteers.
7. Good mechanical aptitude
8. Ability to work with U.S.D.A. inspectors
9. Class 3 or Commercial Drivers License (CDL) preferred, eligibility to apply for CDL during first year of service required. All CDL drivers are required to submit to drug and alcohol testing.

Job Synopsis

Due to the travel demands for Canners, MCC requires that Canners be single.

Canner operators work 8 -12 hour days from October through April including Saturdays. Summers are spent in Akron with regular working hours. This may include working for the maintenance department or as drivers and materials handlers at warehouse facilities. MCC will arrange for each canner to attend a U.S.D.A. approved canning course and to obtain a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL).

During the off season the canner will be a part of Akron Connection Service Program, a service unit connected to MCC’s offices in Akron & Ephrata Pa. In recent years the unit is typically between 7-10 adults, ages 20-70, and may include families with children. Married couples and families live in MCC apartments while singles share a coed Unit House that is also a gathering place. Some of the group activities include 2 annual retreats, monthly outings, bi-weekly Bible studies and impromptu gatherings.

Key Responsibilities

1. Drive to, set up and operate canner at 34 locations in 13 states, plus Ontario and Manitoba.
2. Operate canning equipment
a. Steam boiler
b. Steam cookers
c. Steam-jacketed kettles
d. Sealer
3. Supervise and coordinate volunteers working on-site during canning operations.
4. Relate with the canning committees and local volunteers promoting MCC.
5. Maintain and service canner to be ready for the next canning season.
6. Other duties during summer include working for maintenance department, warehouse work in the material resource center, and trips to airports.
7. Should be willing to speak to MCC supporters.
8. Achieve and maintain a Commercial Driver’s License, which includes submitting to drug and alcohol testing.


While on canning site, canner must refrain from wearing personal jewelry due to constituent sensitivity and safety standards. Note: Canner operators are ambassadors of Mennonite Central Committee to numerous Mennonite groups whose traditions and practices vary. These groups include Old Order Amish, the Old Order Mennonites and the Beachy Amish and similar culturally conservative groups. Canner operators are asked to understand these outward differences and refrain from wearing long hair, jewelry and questionable clothing in the spirit of Romans 14. “So then, we must always aim at those things that bring peace, and that help strengthen one another.”
– moving each week to a new location
– working with many different people
– deciding which pies are the best without trying all of them

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