WASHINGTON — The American Bakers Association has begun work on a new project: The Workforce Gap in U.S. Commercial Baking: Trends, Challenges & Solutions. The year-long project is geared toward developing solutions to fill the workforce skills gap in the baking industry.
“Filling the workforce skills gap is one of the most pressing issues facing the baking industry,” said Robb MacKie, president and chief executive officer of the A.B.A. “If our industry doesn’t proactively address this growing concern, we will fall behind when competing with other business sectors for talent. A.B.A., along with the American Society of Baking, recognizes this need and will be working with its members to bring the entire baking industry together to ensure that the project not only explains the extent of the problem, but more importantly, gives the industry specifics on how to address the expected gap in talent.”
According to the A.B.A., the project’s goals are to determine the current and projected state of employment in skilled production job positions, and identify best practices and solutions in addressing the talent gap within these positions.
“This landmark study exemplifies the vital role of A.B.A. industry stewardship,” said Rich Scalise, chairman of the A.B.A. and president and c.e.o. of Hearthside Food Solutions. “Conceived and executed on a scale few companies could justify, it promises all members a roadmap for developing their future leaders. Competing for talent is expensive and essential. Equipping our members with tools such as this helps ensure our industry will continue to attract and develop the talent necessary for vibrant and sustained growth.”
The A.B.A. said its Human Resources Committee has focused on ensuring a “vibrant” talent management strategy in order to remain a competitive employer with the next generation.“Managing our talent pool is essential to building a successful business,” said Laurie Graves, chair of the A.B.A. Human Resources Committee and director of people systems at The Bama Companies. “Without the right systems in place to attract and retain talented individuals, turnover will be high and business results will suffer. This project will help the baking industry understand the steps it must take to become an employer of choice for all generations in our workforce.”