The ABA HR Committee honed in on specific programs and resources the baking industry can utilize to help fill the current and expected skills gap within the industry. After reviewing detailed data from “The Workforce Gap in U.S. Commercial Baking: Trends, Challenges and Solutions,” HR Committee members discussed the proposed solutions suggested by the project as well as heard from outside experts on programs that will help in recruiting, development and retention.
For example, attendees heard from Paula Marshall, President and CEO, and Lindsey Sage, Health and Wellness Manager, with the Bama Companies regarding what bakers need to know when building a successful health management strategy that gets results. Attendees learned how to make their health and wellness program a major component of the overall benefits plan to help attract and retain talent.
In addition, Stacey Rose, HR and Labor Relations Manager with The Kroger Co., and Bill Klaus, US Dept. of Labor (DOL) Georgia State Director, shared the success that The Kroger Co. is now having with the DOL’s apprenticeship program. The Kroger Co. has partnered with several state Departments of Labor to build out apprenticeship programs geared toward training technical talent that fits the needs of several Kroger manufacturing locations. This program is another tool to help decrease the critical shortage the industry is now facing regarding skilled maintenance mechanics.
The HR Committee will continue to work on solutions to help fill the workforce gap facing the baking industry throughout the rest of 2016. In October 2016 just before the start of IBIE, ABA will host another HR & Labor Conference, spending a full day discussing tools and resources available to address the void of skilled talent needed to fill critical positions within the industry. Look for more news on this meeting coming soon.