According to BEMA, labor shortages and skill gaps remain pressing issues the baking industry cannot afford to ignore. With this in mind, the organization is partnering with Arizona State University (ASU), Phoenix, to address these important issues via Workforce Wednesday, a program taking place June 21, in conjunction with the 2023 BEMA Convention.

Recognized by U.S. News & World Report as the country’s most innovative school, ASU is actively addressing the workforce need though its AZNext Program. The multi-prong approach of AZNext amplifies curriculum for industry-bound students, leads efforts to upskill and reskill the workforce, and assists companies in training their own new labor pools.

This year’s Workforce Wednesday edition will tap into the ingenuity of ASU’s innovative leadership to offer three workforce-focused sessions.

Key Sustainability Issues for Bakery Products and Equipment

This course will discuss the environmental and social hotspots associated with bakery products and equipment and highlight indicators used by CPG companies and retailers to measure sustainability performance.

Digital Twin & Industrial Internet of Things (IoT): A Technical & Business Discussion

This course will focus on themes of IoT and how project workstreams are relevant to these projects.

AZNext & Workforce Development Opportunities

This course will focus on how to directly address talent gaps, reduce training costs and how to enhance and add value for employees.

The Workforce Wednesday edition of BEMA Convention 2023 will take place virtually on Wednesday, June 21. The unique, interactive professional development format is offered for the baking industry audience members unable to attend the convention in-person, and is designed specifically for bakery industry professionals.

The interactive, 50-minute sessions hosted by BEMA staff are accessible anywhere in the world and will provide participants with actionable skills they can apply immediately. Attendees of Workforce Wednesday can also join their peers virtually at Convention 2023 through BEMA Live on Thursday, June 22, and Friday, June 23.

“Partnering with ASU allows Workforce Wednesday participants the ability to tap into the insights of strong workforce development initiatives delivered by faculty from a top-tier institution,” says Emily Bowers, vice president of education and operations, BEMA. “Such a collaboration will offer participants new methods of addressing the need for an active and sustainable workforce today and in the future.”

Related: BEMA opens registration for 2023 convention