Randy Wheeler

Sep 19, 2018

Photo of Randy Wheeler in his work environment

Randy’s Is A Story Of Triumph

Most people I meet outside of Hershey don’t know what a moulding line is. But it’s very important work. My job is to make sure that every Hershey product coming off my line looks the way it’s supposed to look. And that all the crevices, rises and falls are in just the right place.

This requires watching the machines but also working with my team. Some people thought that would never happen for me because I’m deaf.

Photo of Randy Wheeler in his work environment
Photo of Randy Wheeler in his work environment

His Experience Speaks For Itself

Over 35 years, I have gone from working at an entry-level skill level to the highest hourly production rate in the plant. Hershey has been terrific about supporting me in my career and implementing technology to allow me to run the line and communicate with my team. Most of the support is fairly simple; there are lights on the line that flash to help me identify when alarms go off that I need to check on. There are also blue lights on the fork trucks that help identify traffic flow

My first supervisor was able to communicate with me as a hearing-impaired employee; he was able to sign and use fingerspelling. It was a positive experience that helped me to learn the job. Since then, I have been able to work out a really good communication system with my co-workers. I really like and respect the people I work with, and I’m proud that my supervisors can depend on me to teach new employees how to work the line.

"Being deaf has not prevented me from learning, growing, and advancing in my career." Randy Wheeler Senior Moulding Line Operator, Hershey

Being deaf has not prevented me from learning, growing, and advancing in my career. But that’s partially due to where I work. I am so thankful to The Hershey Company for hiring me all those years ago, which has enabled me to provide for me and my family, and I love that I can help represent deaf people in a positive light. I hope that my experience working at The Hershey Company demonstrates that people with hearing impairments can perform their jobs well.

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