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LVEDC Talent Supply: The Need for Highly Skilled Supply Chain Technicians

By Colin McEvoy on March 27, 2018

LVEDC Director of Talent Supply Karianne Gelinas

LVEDC Director of Talent Supply Karianne Gelinas

Each week, Karianne Gelinas, Director of Talent Supply with the Lehigh Valley Economic Development Corporation (LVEDC), will provide an update and additional information about its ongoing initiative to identify talent supply and demand issues in the region and create a strategy that results in a broader, ongoing understanding of the Lehigh Valley workforce. (See past updates.)

Last week I attended an industry and academic forum/tour organized by the National Center for Supply Chain Automation, an organization seeking to increase the number of qualified supply chain technicians to meet the growing national need across the private and public supply chains.

Held at the Walmart Fulfillment Center in Bethlehem, the purpose of the event was to bridge the gap between educational institutions and employers, and to discuss the National Center’s marketing materials aimed at bringing awareness to supply chain careers.

All the Lehigh Valley’s regional technical schools were invited to the forum and tour, and the National Center holds similar events throughout the country, getting educators and employers into the same room to develop a greater understanding of these careers and how to build an educational curriculum aimed at getting more people into those jobs.

Among the employers represented were Walmart, FedEx Ground, UPS, Dollar Tree, Swisslog, Honeywell, and SSI Schaefer Systems.

From the National Center’s mission statement:

The technologies used to support the nation’s supply chain are becoming more advanced every day. These new technologies are being implemented to increase production, improve accuracy, and to meet the needs of the e-commerce revolution. The days of shipping full pallets of product to retail outlets are being replaced with single items shipped directly to the customer’s door. This business model is creating new challenges for companies. High-tech inventory control systems and material handling equipment are needed. Ample workforce to maintain these new technologies does not currently exist. Academically STEM-prepared (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) students, with an interest in using technology are needed to address the growing demand for skilled supply chain technicians.

Click here to read more about LVEDC’s ongoing talent supply initiative. Click here to see previous talent supply initiative updates.

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