Finding 120 new employees to start up a new bakery isn’t easy. Part of the success in recruiting new employees and ramping up production at King’s Hawaiian’s latest bakery can be attributed to Georgia’s Quick Start Training Program, according to Dave Phillips, human resources manager for the Oakwood, GA, operation.

Working with nearby Lanier Technical College, King’s Hawaiian and the Quick Start program offer employees free training in industrial safety, electrical maintenance, mechanical engineering and more.

“We’re paying our employees to attend the school,” he said. “We’re not only ensuring our current employees are up to standard, but it’s also a good way to bring new employees into the organization by having them go through that training.”

Lanier’s program also helps King’s Hawaiian screen potential candidates to see if they have the right “Aloha” attitude, critical thinking and overall awareness for the job.

“We actually have them pack bread on a mini-assembly line there,” Mr. Phillips noted. “By doing that, we’re able to tell a person’s adaptability to change, how they get along with other people, whether they are a team player, whether they will fit in with our culture and are they having fun doing it — which is one of the keys I’m always looking for. Are they smiling and having a good time, or are they grumpy-faced already? Or are they saying, ‘I can’t believe I’m doing this?’”