New college program designed to meet needs in logistics industry

By Deb Presbie

Job postings for a wide variety of positions in transportation, distribution, and logistics (TDL) have increased by 86% since May 2013, according to the national employment website indeed.com. Top openings include material handler, driver, delivery driver, dispatcher, scheduler, truck driver, package delivery driver, shipping clerk, production assistant, and warehouse manager.

Who will fill those positions in Connecticut?

Answering that question is the work of the newly formed TDL Workforce Partnership, established through a grant from the Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford. The partnership will determine how best to meet workforce needs in the TDL sector by expanding skills and career opportunities for entry-level workers.

Organized and managed by CBIA's Education Foundation, the partnership includes representatives from transportation, warehousing and distribution, manufacturing, logistics, education and training, labor, workforce development, and community-based organizations.

One of the first tasks of the partnership was to define the workforce needs of the TDL sector.

Logistics employers involved in the partnership described the need for skilled workers who understand the supply chain, have project and inventory management skills, and knowledge and experience in international logistics: including customs compliance, federal regulations and forms, import filing systems, and airline codes.

Transit and freight forwarders described a critical need for more licensed and experienced commercial drivers.

New Credentialing Program at Goodwin

A key strategy to meet the need for skilled logistics workers will be to collaborate with Connecticut's colleges. Goodwin College in East Hartford, for example, in conjunction with CBIA's Education Foundation and the TDL Workforce Partnership, will offer a three-credit Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) credential this spring at no cost to eligible job seekers. (For certain current employees, companies may also participate in Goodwin's CLT program through a 50-50 cost match.)

The CLT program covers nationally validated skills required for frontline workers in supply chain logistics. Its focus is training material handling and distribution workers who work in factories, warehouses, distribution centers, or transporters. Students completing the program will receive their Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) or CLT credentials from the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC).

With support from the Workforce Solutions Collaborative of Metro Hartford, the TDL Workforce Partnership will implement other education and training programs that lead to industry recognized credentials and meet the needs of employers in the Greater Hartford region.

Grant funding is also available for commercial driver's license training or upgrading.

An orientation session for the CLT program will be held in early December at Goodwin College.

For more information about the TDL Workforce Partnership or education and training opportunities, contact CBIA Education Foundation program manager Deb Presbie at 860.244.1932 or deb.presbie@cbia.com.