Next Generation of Logistics Professionals
Sandra Simon, a career coach for Toledo Public Schools, thinks that a program funding a supply chain management program for high school students is a smart idea. Money for the Youth Career Grant comes from fees employers pay for visas given to immigrants coming to the U.S. for technical jobs. She says, “We’re using that money – from importing skilled people – to grow our own talent here.”
Woodward High School is one of 27 schools in the U.S. to be the recipient of the grant. It allowed the school to establish a two-year program that focusses on supply chain management and workforce readiness. Principal of the school, Jack Renz, said he pursued the grant that supports the program because of the good jobs that are available in transportation and logistics within only a few miles of his school. High school classwork is aligned with courses at Owens Community College and students gain up to 12 college credit hours.
Woodward seniors Angela Johnson and Hugo Rodriquez aren’t certain of their future careers right now but both have learned about logistics and the supply chain industry and had other opportunities through their participation in the supply chain management program. Johnson says that being interviewed by Chrysler was a highlight of her high school education. Rodriquez said that he enjoyed project management and might pursue his degree in engineering.
The students, their principal, and their teacher made a presentation at the January 27 meeting of the TMACOG Freight Advisory Committee. Teacher David Carr explained that he wants to make sure that the program is teaching skills that will pay off for the students in greater job opportunities. “What benefits our students the most,” he said, “is real-world problems that they can solve.” He has worked with the Andersons and Magna International, an auto parts supplier. Those companies have shared challenges with Carr’s students and welcome student solutions. Carr is also looking for mentors and internships for his senior students. He says mentors can be very helpful. “Students have an adult they can ask questions to and have a model for employability skills.” Personal relationships can help connect new graduates to jobs and are a way for established professionals to give back to their community. He tries to place his students in several short-term internships to show them the scope of the logistics industry and the range of skills students will need.
People working in trucking, railroads, logistics, port authorities, warehousing or any other supply chain related industry can provide valuable help to students. People interested in providing an internship of any length are invited to contact Woodward teacher David Carr at Dcarr@tps.org, or Principal Jack Renz at Jrenz@tps.org for details.
Front row, students Hugo Rodriquez and Angela Johnson.
Back row, Woodward Principal Jack Renz and Instructor
David Carr at the TMACOG offices.