Kansas State University’s Department of Grain Science and Industry has been supplying the next generation of bakers to the commercial baking industry for years. As the only four-year degree in Bakery Science and Management, graduates from this program have enjoyed 100% job placement rate in the past few years, a sign of how much need there is for qualified workers.
The department itself though, struggles with the same recruitment issues the industry does. A lack of visibility for the baking industry as a viable career option hurts both university recruitment and bakery recruitment efforts. In this episode of Since Sliced Bread, KSU Grain Sciences Department Head Gordon Smith, PhD, and Aaron Clanton, Baker’s National Education Foundation instructor, share how the workforce gap looks from the university program’s perspective.
“Workforce and student recruitment are tied together that baking is a best kept secret,” Mr. Clanton said. “It’s a great industry once you’re in it, but it’s helping people to know about it that’s the challenge.”
The department puts the baking industry in front of middle and high school students through STEM programs and even has a partnership with the Home Baking Association. It also partners with industry associations and baking companies to provide students the best education, internships and eventually careers.
Listen to hear more about KSU’s perspective of the workforce gap and how the industry can partner with the Grain Science Department to invest in the next generation of bakers.