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The American Bakers Association (ABA) and the American Society of Baking (ASB) worked with Cypress Research to update the findings of their 2016 Workforce Gap in US Commercial Baking: Trends, Challenges and Solutions study, but this time a focus on new best practices and strategies around retention and recruitment. The new study was conducted in October 2021 and February 2022 and provides a look at how the baking industry’s workforce challenges have persisted but also changed.

“In 2016 companies did anticipate high to severe shortages with skilled production workers over the past 10 years, and the study reveals that they were right,” said Marjorie Hellmer, president of Cypress Research. “… But the current industry study tells a very different story today about the acceleration of this challenge among hourly unskilled production workers.”

Season 10 of Since Sliced Bread kicks off the conversation around the latest workforce conversation hearing from Ms. Hellmer, and Lauren Williams, director of government relations of ABA, about the findings as well as how it lines up with what ABA members are saying.

The study not only showed that individual bakers are not alone in their workforce challenges but also revealed some of the new strategies baking companies are trying and some of the opportunities baking companies aren’t. Between the industry’s image challenges and the new worker’s demand for work-life balance, baking companies are open to new ideas to solve this labor crisis.

“Given the shift among younger job candidates who really require a balance between work and personal life experiences, all US manufacturing is really required to listen to those demands,” Ms. Hellmer said.

Learn how the baking industry can compete effectively and maybe even pull ahead of other manufacturing industries in this episode of Since Sliced Bread.


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