Supply Chain, Logistics, and Material Handling Education Awareness
Thursday, September 8th, 2016
How did we get here? I wondered, while Clint King and I stood in front of a classroom full of seniors at High Point Central High School. We were prepared to start our first of twelve presentations scheduled for the day. I design and sell storage systems. Why am I spending the day talking to high schoolers, not about what I do for a living or my company, but about employment opportunities in the supply chain in general? The answer it turns out was rather simple. As material handling systems integrators, we take pride in helping our customers in all facets of warehouse and distribution center efficiency. Over the past few years, we heard a common question from our customers. Where can we find qualified people to work in our facility to maximize our efficiency? Unfortunately, the answer to that question is not so simple.
It seemed to us that there was a disconnection between the employers that need qualified employees and the youth that would soon need employment. After meeting with educators and prospective students at various career fairs, we determined that “Supply Chain and Logistics” had a branding problem. It turns out that when we would ask young people if they were interested in a career in supply chain or logistics, we would be met with “I don’t want to drive a truck or a forklift for a living”. Great! We have identified the problem, lack of education on what the supply chain really is! Now for the hard part, how do we make people (young people in particular) aware of the career opportunities available in supply chain and logistics?
We started locally, first partnering with the North Carolina Center for Global Logistics and Guilford Technical Community College. We designed and donated labor and equipment for a training warehouse at GTCC’s new Cameron Campus. We have since donated and installed a small training warehouse at Western Guilford High School, the home of the logistics program for Guilford County Schools. These are the tools that will help educate young people in how warehousing, distribution and supply chain works.
However, the lack of supply chain education is not a local problem, so we knew we had to go bigger! The best platform we could think of for national exposure was NASCAR. After many months of planning, and a strategic partnership with our wire supplier J&L Wire, we are proud to announce the debut of our Supply Chain, Logistics and Material Handling Education Awareness motorsports marketing program! Clint King will be making his NASCAR debut, driving the #15 J&L Wire Ford Mustang in the NASCAR Xfinity Series’ Virginia529 College Savings 250 at Richmond International Raceway.
Systems Design and Sales Consultant
Warehouse Design, Inc.