NORWALK, OHIO — Back in 2009, Ohio’s unemployment rate was at an all-time high. In Huron county, home of New Horizons’ Norwalk headquarters, it had skyrocketed to 18%. But, even in such dismal times, the bakery’s strong sales told a different story, and it was growing.

Filling a gap in its workforce wasn’t even on the radar.

But today, the company looks to the future with a reimagined strategic alignment and a focus on an all-new and diverse generation of employment.

“This is a real business challenge that all bakers — all business owners — face right now,” said Trina Bediako, president and chief operating officer, New Horizons Baking Co.

The family-owned bakery, which is in its second generation of leadership, is currently developing recruitment strategies and onboarding programs that will include a training coordinator who can manage specific New Horizons processes on each line.

“We want to put together a training team at each level — whether it’s supervisors or plant personnel — to give them the time and attention they need,” Ms. Bediako said.

As a minority-owned business and one of the country’s largest Minority Business Enterprise-certified food manufacturing companies, New Horizons takes pride in the diversity of its workforce.

“We have strong leaders across the board, but I’m proud of the female leadership we have as well,” Ms. Bediako said, calling attention to the women who serve as director of purchasing, controller and superintendent, as well as a number of female production managers. “The skillsets they’ve brought to our company have added to a male-dominated industry, and that is a nice mix.”

This article is an excerpt from the December 2018 issue of Baking & Snack. To read the entire feature on New Horizons, click here.