4 News & Views Magazine EDITION 1, 2017 If recruiting, training and retaining a high- quality workforce is a challenge for your company, then you are not alone, as it is a problem facing many other California food processors. This situation is compounded by a number of factors, the most important may be an insufficient pool of skilled and motivated young workers interested in careers in manufacturing. As a result, the industry has a shortage of mechanics, electricians, engineers and other staff essential to operating facilities. New technologies and regulations in the workplace are driving changes in the workforce. As processors introduce more automation into their operations it requires that workers manage and repair very sophisticated systems. But the training to get those skills may not be readily available in some areas. The myriad of regulations related to the Food Safety Modern- ization Act necessitate that companies have staff trained to do the required analysis, monitoring and compliance paper- work, but there is currently a shortage of food scientists to perform these tasks. There are no simple solutions. Students need to be aware of the wide array of opportunities in food processing and encour- aged to consider this career path. Educational institutions need to tailor programs to provide the technical training and critical soft skills necessary for students to successfully transition into the workplace. Employers need to be creative and proactive regarding providing training, internships and apprenticeships to build their workforce. CLFP has made it a priority to help address this problem. We have begun working with community colleges, universities and economic development organizations to identify industry needs and training gaps and to seek ways to better connect employers with students. There are great resources available to employers, but it is not always easy for them to find what they need. On February 17th, just prior to CLFP’s 2017 Food Processing Expo, we conducted our first-ever Food Processing Industry Workforce Summit. This event brought together processors, educators and community organizations to discuss which types of positions are hard to fill and the resources available to address the problem. In addition, several speakers discussed other human resource issues such as wage and hour regula- tions, Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards and workers’compensation trends. It was a great session and generated a lot of discussion. CLFP will continue to work on these important human resource issues for our members, and we encourage you to contact our staff if you would like some assistance. President & CEOMessage By ROB NEENAN - CLFP President & CEO New technologies and regulations in the workplace are driving changes in the workforce. As processors introduce more automation into their operations it requires that workers manage and repair very sophisticated systems. Strengthening the Food Processing Industry Workforce