Difficulty attracting young, skilled labor is a plight that all MHEDA members are familiar with. MHEDA’s 4th Critical Impact Factor for 2015 states, "The industry is facing a shortage of skilled labor and this trend will continue as existing employees retire. Additionally, skill sets for the technicians in all industry segments are changing with increasing reliance on systems and software diagnostic tools." Part of the reason that the industry is facing a shortage of skilled labor is an inability to attract students to the industry during their high school and college careers. It is a challenge that is shared by colleges such as North Carolina’s Guilford Technical Community College. "It’s very difficult out of high school to get students interested in what is really a very viable and vibrant career," says Sam Chinnis, an associate professor at GTCC. "I think there’s a disconnect with a lot of the parents of today’s youth who hear the words ‘warehouse’ or ‘distribution center’ and think of it as a dead-end job. We have to do a better job of demonstrating the many broad career paths available within the logistics industry. It’s an exciting field but our job is to generate that excitement within a broader population." For Chinnis and the rest of the Global Logistics Technology Department at GTCC, the challenge came from how to actually demonstrate those paths and communicate them to potential students. Beginning in 2008, the college started discussing a potential interactive teaching warehouse where students could get hands-on experience learning how a distribution center is run and the many different facets it involves. By 2012, the details of the teaching warehouse began to take shape. GTCC is an active member of the North Carolina Center for Global Logistics (NCCGL). At a committee meeting in 2012, representatives from GTCC […]
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