Milling & Baking News - June 5, 2018 - 14


Ardent Mills' apprenticeship program
reaches milestone with graduations
MINNEAPOLIS - Jacob Pierzyna and Zachary Melin were
set to become the first two students to graduate from Dunwoody College of Technology as part of Ardent Mills' milling certification program. With their graduation May 17,
Mr. Pierzyna and Mr. Melin will continue working with Ardent until early fall to complete on-the-job hours required
for apprenticeship certificates.
Brad Allen, vice-president and
operations lead at Ardent Mills,
and Ted Korolchuk, technical fellow at Ardent Mills, guided the
launch of the apprenticeship program to assist individuals in entering their career free of
school loans. They also hoped the program would lead to
the recruitment of more skilled millers.
"We worked with Bühler Industries Inc., a company that
already had experience starting an apprenticeship with
Dunwoody, to adapt their program for our apprentices,"
said Christy Ball, talent and skills development analyst, Ardent Mills. "Jacob and Zach took not-for-credit courses and
completed on-the-job training in flour milling to earn Certificates of Apprenticeship from the Minnesota Department
of Labor and Industry."
Ardent Mills found Mr. Pierzyna and Mr. Melin after
reaching out to area high school guidance counselors and

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269-731-4141 or 1-800-KNAPPEN | Fax: 269-731-5441

14 / June 5, 2018

Milling & Baking News

local leaders with the National FFA Organization, formerly
known as Future Farmers of America, to identify candidates who were bright, eager and ready to "roll up their
"Jacob has been a sponge for knowledge from day one,"
said Bobby Blaser, plant manager at Ardent Mills Lake City
(Minnesota) community mill. "He excels in our world because of his keen analytical sense
and strong mechanical aptitude. I
have thoroughly enjoyed watching him grow in the team environment as well as sharpen his communication and leadership skills."
Mr. Blaser said the apprenticeship program has provided learning experiences for everyone involved, not just the
"The apprenticeship program has helped accelerate the
growth process for key individuals in our plant," Mr. Blaser
said. "In turn, this helps to fill a much-needed role through
technical knowledge, growth and aspirational leadership to
enable us to reach our goals."
At Ardent Mills Rush City, Minn., community mill, Mr.
Melin also received excellent reviews.
"He is driven and eager to learn," said Tyler Adair, head
miller. "He got inside our mill and got hands-on learning
supported by Dunwoody coursework. Being in a mill is the
best way to learn the job. He sought challenges and reached
outside his comfort zone."
For more information on Ardent Mills' apprenticeship program contact Ms. Ball at MBN

Kat Cole sees 'off premise'
as growth opportunity for
Cinnabon, Auntie Anne's
ATLANTA - Owning such brands as Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's, Atlanta-based Focus Brands depends on sales
at malls. Yet bringing products "off premise" to consumers is presenting more opportunities, said Katrina (Kat)
Cole, president and chief operating officer, in a May 29
interview on CNBC Money.
Cinnabon is shipping products to consumers, and businesses may order catering online from Auntie Anne's, she said in giving two examples.
While traffic has declined in certain malls,
a new federal law requiring establishments to
disclose the number of calories contained in
standard items on menus and menu boards
also could be viewed as a hurdle. Ms. Cole
said Focus Brands was an "early mover" in Cole
displaying calorie counts on menus nationally. The company focused on smaller portions, and consumers' behavior did not change. Some consumers were
surprised at the calorie counts of indulgent items, expecting them to be higher than they were, she said.
Besides Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's, Focus Brands also
owns Carvel, McAlister's Deli, Moe's Southwest Grill and
Schlotzky's. Focus Brands provides investments in technology and consumer insight, allowing brands and business
owners to "punch above their weight," Ms. Cole said. MBN /

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