Filling Supply Chain Jobs

Community Colleges across the country are starting to fill a need for supply chain training. Last week I attended a Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) session at Harper College in Palatine, IL near Chicago where this was topic of the day.  CSCMP is a professional supply chain organization.

I attended decades ago Penn State and received a MBA with a major in logistics. There are of course a number great universities across the country providing supply chain training, the current buzz word for this field. There is a level of knowledge and educational sophistication these programs provide. They can be useful for high paying jobs in large organizations, global in size, billions of revenue and complex. However not every organization needs that level of talent or can afford to pay for it, but do need supply chain skills, knowledge and work ethic.

The featured company at the event was Innovative Components of Schaumberg, IL. They make knobs. There website is  They have two plants, one here in Illinois, and one in Costa Rica.  They have a need for educated and trained work force in the supply chain, people who know the concepts and vocabulary and can meet the needs of this relatively small organization when compared to the multi-national behemoths.

Harper College offers certificate courses in Procurement and Supply Management, Transportation and Logistics, Warehouse Operations, Demand Planning, Inventory and Production Control, and Supply Chain Analytics.  Connected to these programs are CSCMP exams which are benchmark exams which be recognized by many companies as marker of knowledge and skill, which will be better known throughout the country than the Harper College name and add credence to the certificate program.

Many manufactures are short skilled people to run their operations. No longer can a non-degreed person just walk in and just do repetitive tasks on assembly line or just call a truckline to ship. Manufacturing jobs do pay living wages as they are skilled jobs in demand.  But their suppliers and customers may be fairly sophisticated and they will need suppliers and customers who can understand their issues.

One of the points the representatives of students are telling high schoolers and young community college students is that not all jobs require going into tens of thousand of 4 year college debt to be able to get to the point where one is employable.

Harper College administrators and faculty, as is typical in community colleges come from people who have actually worked in the field, who are not just teaching a “textbook” because of their experience and practical knowledge.


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