Progressive Grocer

DEC 2015

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 53 of 245

52 | Progressive Grocer | Ahead of What's Next | December 2015 It's all About the Talent "How do we get a motivated, excited, professional workforce that really values what we do as an industry?" asks Eardley. "We see too many low-paid people behind the counter who want out of there. Chefs are the motivated stars right now, but our people impact more food than a chef ever will." Ide- ally, retailers will be able to communicate that what deli workers do is important. To that end, IDDBA provides many levels of skills and product knowl- edge training, as well as scholarships for personal and professional development. IDDBA scholarships are both for students en- rolled in food programs and the professional develop- ment of existing supermarket employees. Te latter scholarships have gone to industry representatives at all levels of the grocery store, from courtesy clerks to store directors, and even professionals at the corpo- rate level. Since 2000, nearly $494,000 in Scholar- ship for Growing the Future funds have supported 776 students representing 182 member companies. Te Willard T. Reese Scholarship is a student program that builds awareness of opportunities in the supermarket industry for food profession- als. Under the annual program, two students each receive a $5,000 scholarship. Tese workers "are impacting the food of the United States," says Eardley. "We want to attract the right people, train them, and pay them [a fair wage] and make them feel proud of their work." Eardley also praises the Food Safety Certifca- tion Reimbursement program (FSCRP), which has provided nearly $250,000 in certifcation exam reimbursement for 6,887 store-level dairy, deli and bakery associates and managers since 2003. "Te FSCRP ... is the single best reason for retailers to join IDDBA," he asserts. For a $200 retail membership, IDDBA will reimburse food safety certifcation costs up to $2,000 per chain. Courses can be any that are recognized by the state in which the retailer conducts business, including the ServSafe Food Handler Program. When employees are well trained, they serve shoppers better, are more loyal to the employing retail banner and fulfll the mission of their employer better — that is the point of diferentiation, says Eardley. Te focus of training should be on customer service, product knowledge and food safety. New programs that IDDBA is looking to launch in the coming year include allergen awareness for dairy, deli and bakery, and charcuterie. It Starts in the Boardroom IDDBA's board of directors, which includes retailers and food and equipment manufacturers, as well as service providers, decides which areas The Ties That Bind The International Dairy-Deli-Bakery Associa- tion (IDDBA) will soon roll out a program that brings talent together with community. The new Mentor Grant program encourages seasoned professionals to be mentors of the next generation. According to Jonathan Whalley, educa- tion coordinator at Madison, Wis.-based IDDBA: "Emerging professionals today rep- resent diverse backgrounds, educations and even career paths. Each has different career goals and achieves them in different ways. But there's value and need for experienced professionals to guide them along their way." Industr y professionals can share their experience with members of the next generation who have recently graduated from school, or are new to the industr y or on a new career path. The IDDBA Mentor Grant offers grants of $1,000 to employees of member companies who have or are beginning a mentor rela- tionship with an emerging professional in the business. Grants can be used in many ways to contribute to the contin- ued growth and development of mentees and the future of dair y, deli and baker y. We want to attract the right people, train them, and pay them [a fair wage] and make them feel proud of their work." —Mike Eardley, IDDBA Continued from page 49

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Progressive Grocer - DEC 2015