Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 38

OPERATIONS
The labor shortage is something
that is going to continue into the
future, so you have to be
ready for the long-term. "
Dave Coble, Schreiber Foods
have the people to get the inputs in, get the product made
and get the finished product out to the consumer, we won't
have customers. "
NOT ADDING UP
A declining birth rate, large numbers of baby boomers
reaching retirement age, increasing dairy consumption and
record low unemployment have all combined to lead to
workforce shortages, leading Dykes to call the issue " a simple,
straightforward math problem. "
Additionally, the location of processing plants in rural
communities near the farms have added to the challenges of
recruiting workers, and it is requiring the industry to look
beyond higher wages for long-term solutions.
" You don't differentiate yourself in the competitive
market by simply paying more, " Dykes said. " Everyone is
paying more. "
Retention bonuses, flexible schedules and part-time work
options are some other incentives industry leaders are using.
" We have been able to increase
interested applicants by providing
different shifts, " said Dave Coble,
senior vice president of human
resources for Schreiber Foods,
Green Bay, Wis. " We tend not
to have one exact shift for the
entire operation. Different lines
may offer different types of
shifting schedules, so people have
different options as to what hours
they work. "
Open communication and
asking applicants what works
for them also have been key,
Coble said.
Schreiber Foods also is piloting
a childcare subsidy program and
is partnering with a group that
will build up childcare networking
services for employees. Coble said
in the past many employers didn't
want to get involved in childcare
38 JAN-FEB 2023 | DAIRYPROCESSING.COM
assistance, but he believes it must be addressed and will be a
focus for the company going forward.
Hilmar Cheese Company, Hilmar, Calif., has used onsite
job fairs, moved to more remote and hybrid workers, and
has increased its employee referral bonuses to attract more
workers, said DeeAnne Marlow, vice president human
resources. While it's not possible to offer many positions in
a remote capacity, it broadens the talent pool of potential
workers when it can be done.
Marlow also said it's not always possible to hire someone
with manufacturing experience, and as a result more training
is often needed. She said the company tailors its training
to the specific worker's needs. Hilmar Cheese has a formal
training program for trainers, supervisors and team members.
Ramping up technology through automation will also
create less of a dependency on people.
" There is more emphasis on capital investments into
automation, " Coble said. " The labor shortage is something
that is going to continue into the future, so you have to be
ready for the long term. "
At the same time, automation is not without its labor
challenges. Dykes said with increased automation comes a
need for employees with new skill sets in running systems and
ensuring cybersecurity.
" I think politicians are beginning to understand and
appreciate that when we talk about building a new facility
or expanding an existing facility and we are putting in
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Dairy Processing - January/February 2023

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Dairy Processing - January/February 2023

Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - Intro
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 1
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 2
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 3
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 4
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 5
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Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 7
Dairy Processing - January/February 2023 - 8
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