To combat the widening workforce skills gap in baking and manufacturing, the American Bakers Association (ABA) and the American Society of Baking (ASB) earlier today released an anticipated and comprehensive multi-phase study – The Workforce Gap in U.S. Commercial Baking: Trends, Challenges and Solutions. ABA and ASB commissioned Cypress Research Associates, LLC to gauge the current state of commercial bakery manufacturer employment, amplify best practices among employers and recommend plans of action to minimize the workforce skills gap in the baking industry.
“Our approach was to better understand the gap, its drivers, current solutions, and future industry implications. With this information in hand, leaders can evaluate and benchmark strategies based on proven best practices,” said Rich Scalise, President and CEO of Hearthside Food Solutions and Immediate Past Chairman of ABA. During his tenure as ABA Chairman and in partnership with ASB, Scalise commissioned the study to not only better understand the size and implications of the gap, but what the industry could do to address and narrow it. “The case study approach documents already successful outcomes that can be benchmarked, modeled and compared, providing a roadmap for companies seeking to close the divide between available and needed industry talent,” added Mr. Scalise.
“The American Society of Baking is already hard at work developing programs to address the current and future workforce gap in our industry,” said Mario Somoza, ASB Chairman. “We are revamping our scholarship program to target students pursuing education in areas such as food science and engineering/manufacturing, as well as our traditional support of bakery science programs. ASB has developed a Careers Section on our website that lists universities, culinary institutes and certification programs where potential employees can gain the skills and knowledge needed for a career in the baking industry. The site also profiles companies and successful individuals to increase awareness of bakery manufacturing as a desired career. We are doing everything we can to help students and upwardly mobile employees gain the skills and knowledge needed for a successful career in the baking industry,” noted Mr. Somoza.