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  • Writer's pictureKarrie Brown

Empowering the Next Generation: Roskam Baking's Commitment to Training and Development

Bakers at Roskam Baking
The Roskam Baking Team

Roskam Baking is a trailblazer in the co-manufacturing industry, consistently providing excellent food production for a diverse range of the world's biggest brands. Their footprint spans six Grand Rapids area locations, as well as one in Canada and one in California. What truly sets Roskam Baking apart is their unwavering dedication to training and developing the next generation. Austyn Ecker, Talent Acquisition Manager at Roskam Baking, shared exciting information with us on the company’s efforts to shape the future workforce while providing valuable opportunities for employee growth and career advancement.

Roskam Baking wants to ensure the next generation of workers knows about the great careers available in food processing. They participated in MiCareerQuest this spring and will be back for the 2024 event. “We were excited to showcase the possibilities within the food processing industry to the students and are looking forward to coming back year after year,” Austyn said. “Food processing isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when people think about manufacturing, but this work is so meaningful.”

Older picture of Roskam Baking employees

The company is passionate about nurturing partnerships with education providers. Their goal is to collaborate with local career technical education institutions to expose students to the latest co-manufacturing food industry practices through hands-on learning. Austyn explained, “We’re seeking partnerships to create a pathway for students to enter our industry, armed with the knowledge and experience necessary to excel.”

Roskam Baking also provides internship opportunities to college students. “Internship opportunities at Roskam Baking are more than just temporary work experiences—they are a launchpad for future success,” Austyn said. Internships offer students practical, real-world experience in Roskam’s dynamic and innovative environment. The National Association of Colleges and Employers statistics show why Roskam is focused on increasing their internship program – 68 percent of employers offer their interns full-time jobs, and 82 percent of the interns accept the positions offered. Roskam Baking uses its internship program to show the company’s focus on innovation and culture of learning to those ready to enter the workforce.

It isn’t surprising that Roskam’s website says, “Innovation is our sweet spot.” They have an active research and development team who is recognized as an industry leader in the snacking, dry mix and confectionary space. Roskam has a dedicated Research and Development Center in Grand Rapids to craft and perfect innovative products to tempt current and future customers.

One of the mixers at Roskam Baking
One of the mixers at Roskam Baking

Additionally, Roskam has a team of technical engineering experts who focus on automation, continuous improvement and sustainability. “Our equipment takes highly skilled people with engineering mindsets and education. If someone is eager to learn, we want to give them the experience and get them the training to succeed,” Austyn shared. This emphasis on knowledge and skill-building extends to the entire Roskam workforce. Roskam has team members who started as machine operators and are now plant managers. Austyn explained, “There is a pathway for everyone to move up, mentors to support their growth, and training funds to help them be successful.”

Roskam Baking's commitment to developing the next generation will have a lasting impact on the food industry's workforce. Their dedication to empowering individuals, providing growth opportunities and fostering a sense of purpose and pride in their work sets Roskam Baking apart as an industry leader. Roskam Baking's dedication not only strengthens their own organization but also cultivates a talent pool that will shape the future of the food industry.

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