Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 89

OPERATIONS
Workplace Improvements
Bakers are prioritizing their employees' needs to tackle the industry's labor shortage.
by Lucas Cuni-Mertz
T
The coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has impacted
baking in many ways, but its effects have been felt perhaps
nowhere more than on the industry's workforce.
Bakers today are struggling mightily to hire and retain
workers, and the issue is expected to persist over the
next few years.
In the American Baking Association's (ABA) and
American Society of Baking's (ASB) " Workforce in US
Commercial Baking Industry " study, conducted by
Cypress Research, nearly 100% of bakers said finding
and developing talent is a moderate or significant challenge
for both hourly skilled and unskilled production
workers. For skilled positions that number is up from
89% in 2016.
Two-thirds of bakers reported a high or severe shortage
for machine operator positions,
up from 40% in 2016. Fifty-eight
percent of bakers reported a high or
severe shortage for maintenance and
engineering jobs as well. Significant
shortages were also apparent in unskilled
production positions such as
production helpers, loaders/shippers
and sanitation workers.
Today's
labor
force
choices of where to work, and the
baking plant isn't always the most attractive
to potential employees.
" Our environment in the bakeries
isn't the best, " noted Mark
Salman, president of Middleby Food
Processing, at
the ASB BakingTech
2022 Trends in Automation panel.
" It's hot, there's a lot of physical
work, it's loud. So you have to focus
on those areas where you can attract
people to come and work for us
rather than some other place. And
www.bakingbusiness.com / May 2022 Baking & Snack 89
if you're lucky in attracting them, make sure you keep
them and give them comfort. "
This struggle to attract workers is reflected in the
" Workforce in US Commercial Baking Industry " study,
with 92% of baking companies reporting making bakery
manufacturing an appealing career for skilled production
workers to be a moderate or significant challenge,
and 95% reporting the same for unskilled positions.
Bakers looking to expand their workforce must understand
that the relationship between companies and
employees has completely changed, said Bill Quigg,
president of More Than a Bakery, Versailles, Ky. The days
of strict attendance policies and telling employees the
exact days and times they must work are over.
" The dynamic has really shifted so that it's almost an
Bakers that
automate repetitive
motion or heavy
lifting tasks can
save on labor.
JSB Industries/Muffin Town
has many
http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack - May 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack - May 2022

Baking & Snack - May 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 2
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 3
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 4
Baking & Snack - May 2022 - 5
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