Article Courtesy of Heather Prach, Director of Education, IDDBA
The IDDBA offers a range of education programs and opportunities for personal and professional growth for all levels and disciplines within the dairy, deli, bakery industry. While most are available for members only or at a reduced fee for members, there are programs and training that anyone can access.
We offer two types of scholarships to our members. One is for graduate and undergraduate students enrolled in degree programs, and the other is for non-degree programs that contribute to professional growth and education. Both offer financial assistance to achieve one’s career goals and strengthen our industry.
Food safety is always top of mind, and the IDDBA is here to support those also focused on this top priority. Member retailers can benefit from exam reimbursement for associates in the dairy, deli, and bakery departments who pass food safety certification.
The IDDBA also has industry-focused certification for charcuterie professionals looking for credentials authenticating their knowledge and expertise. Created with subject matter experts from the industry, passing the proctored Charcuterie Professional Certification: Salumiere exam earns them the title IDDBA Certified Salumiere.
For those looking to hone their leadership skills, there is a week-long program in conjunction with the University of Wisconsin School of Business Center for Professional and Executive Development – the IDDBA Leadership Certificate Program. Open to all levels and disciplines, this program is designed to reinforce the skills needed to be a thoughtful and confident leader. It is also an excellent opportunity to meet industry peers and build a network of resources.
Fresh Careers is an IDDBA program for university students pursuing careers in the food industry. The students are invited to the annual IDDBA trade show and matched with an industry professional who is available to them as a guide and potential mentor. While at the trade show, they experience business-to-business networking, see product innovation, and explore the many career opportunities within the industry that may interest them post-graduation.
The New IDDBA Training Site Offers:
- Retail associate training: Quick videos covering bakery, cake decorating, specialty cheese, deli meats, and food safety, followed by a short quiz. Passing the quiz earns the individual a certificate of completion.
- Resource library (members only): downloadable and printable job guides (quick one- or two-page references) and workbooks (more in-depth training including a quiz and answer key for self-assessment). The workbooks offer training for managing the specialty cheese, deli, and bakery departments, customer service, and food safety. The job guides cover a wide range of topics; many also have a Spanish version.
- Certificate exam: For deli and bakery department managers. Passing the exam shows they are proficient in food safety, inventory, staffing operations, and merchandising. This is an on-demand, online exam.
- On-demand professional development: Created by the American Management Association, it ranges from 15-minutes to 90-minutes in length. These are available for completion at the participant’s leisure. With over 80 lessons available, there is something for everyone and most likely more than one topic of interest.
Details on all these programs are available at www.iddba.org under Professional Resources.