Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 18

WORKFORCE
barriers to employment. If they complete the program,
Rubicon Bakers offers them full-time positions at the
company. Calderon said hiring these individuals is important
not only to boost its workforce but also because
the bakery has a social responsibility to contribute to the
well-being of its community.
" By providing job opportunities to vulnerable populations
we can help address inequality and promote social
inclusion, " she said. " At the same time, we are providing
individuals with financial stability, independence and a
sense of purpose. Employers can empower individuals
to improve their economic circumstances and build better
futures for themselves and their families. "
While the labor market in the San Francisco Bay Area
Bakeries are tackling
workforce woes by
hiring from vulnerable
populations
like the formerly
incarcerated and
refugees.
More Than A Bakery
is competitive, Pounds said Rubicon's second-chance
program has resulted in strong retention rates for the
bakery. Furthermore, many of these employees have
been promoted to higher level positions in the company.
New Horizons Baking Co., Norwalk, Ohio, has found
similar success through its partnership with Jewish
Family Services, a local nonprofit serving populations
such as African refugees. Thanks to the support from
these communities, the company's New Horizons Food
Solutions dry ingredient facility has enjoyed a high staffing
rate since 2022, said Trina Bediako, chief executive
officer, New Horizons Baking Co.
" Jobs do not remain open, and we know referrals can
keep us staffed, " she said. " The biggest issue now is that
we do not have enough open roles or shifts. "
" BY PROVIDING JOB
OPPORTUNITIES TO
VULNERABLE POPULATIONS
WE CAN HELP ADDRESS
INEQUALITY AND PROMOTE
SOCIAL INCLUSION. "
Karen Calderon, Rubicon Bakers
Some bakeries may be hesitant to hire from these
groups, especially the formerly incarcerated. However,
bakery leaders emphasized that these people are often
some of the most valuable employees at their bakeries.
" One of the biggest challenges is overcoming misconceptions
and stereotypes around areas of discipline,
reliability and performance for people with criminal
backgrounds, " observed Deb Chipperfield, senior vice
president, human resources, supply chain and operations,
Flowers Foods, Thomasville, Ga. " However, in our
experience, the performance of employees with criminal
backgrounds is often at the same level or higher than
their teammates, and in many cases, these individuals
are promoted at a faster rate. "
Flowers Foods' flagship Dave's Killer Bread facility in
Milwaukie, Ore., is one of the industry's leading advocates
for second-chance employment, with nearly 40%
of team members hired through the bakery's initiatives.
" These team members demonstrate dedication,
motivation and loyalty when they come to the bakery;
they are passionate about the opportunity to learn
and grow, " Chipperfield said. " They have an incredibly
strong work ethic, and they're eager to start over and
prove themselves. "
Bakeries that refuse to hire these individuals are turning
away a significant portion of the labor force at a time
when potential candidates are increasingly scarce, Aker
stressed. The Federal Bureau of Investigation estimates
that 29.5% of US adults have a criminal record, a number
far higher than many realize, she said.
" If you're just closing your doors to that, you're missing
out on a lot of opportunity, " she said.
Aker speaks to those with a criminal background
through the Jobs for Life program, discussing their journeys
and holding roundtables and mock interviews.
" A lot of it is mostly they were young, made some mis18
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Baking & Snack - June 2024

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - June 2024

Baking & Snack - June 2024 - Intro
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 1
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 2
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 3
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 4
Baking & Snack - June 2024 - 5
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