In the past year, many members of the Biscuit & Cracker Manufacturers’ Association (BCMA) have successfully incorporated the online BCMA Entry Level Training Program (ELTP) into their own training activities.

“It’s critical for employees to be precise and consistent in what they do so product quality is maintained,” said Stacey Sharpless, BCMA president. “ELTP is an affordable way for companies to establish fundamentals of the bakery environment with employees that have little to no experience in a bakery.”

According to Dennis Loalbo, BCMA technical adviser, ELTP covers the basics, starting with ingredients and their functions. The course then moves into the mixing process and mixing equipment; progresses to forming equipment that turns dough into a product for baking; and describes heat transfer, oven types and band surfaces. General bakery safety, sanitation and record keeping are also covered throughout the course. Participants can take the training program in English or Spanish.

“A great strength of ELTP is the level of training it provides to all employees regardless of their knowledge level. There is nothing similar to it in the industry” Ms. Sharpless said.

The program achieved a 100% recommendation rate from student graduate survey respondents, while 97% of the graduate respondents agreed that the program provided a better understanding of ingredients, mixing, forming and baking.

Many respondents mentioned the direct application the program would have on their current jobs.

As Ms. Sharpless stated, “Ultimately, companies ask each employee to follow exact directions for each job. ELTP drives home what an employee should do and how to do it.”

To learn more about the BCMA Entry Level Training Program, visit or call BCMA at (443) 445-1645.