Over the past decade, the nation’s K-12 educational systems have worked hard to deliver students to four-year degree programs at universities. This focus has greatly reduced the number of shop and hands-on technical classes, resulting in dwindling opportunities to expose students to the sorts of careers that drive the transportation industry today. The Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence is determined to reverse this trend by providing young people with in-person, hands-on experiences, while demonstrating the value to parents, school administrators, industry representatives, and others.
What if companies could reliably prevent a particular type of loss that costs them millions of dollars annually? That’s exactly what trucking companies can do with some straightforward strategies in onboarding and retaining truck drivers. Industry data and our own research and surveys have helped Strategic Programs, Inc. identify ways to improve driver retention, especially within the first year.
In recognition of the importance of workforce issues to Wisconsin’s contractors, Wisconsin Operating Engineers partnered with Destinations Career Academy to develop the Operating Engineers Pre-Apprenticeship Program. This program prepares students for registered apprenticeship while still in high school. Hosted through the McFarland School district in south-central Wisconsin, this program is available through course options to students throughout the state.
A relatively new degree program at Kansas State Polytechnic is filling a significant talent gap and launching competitive applicants into the workforce. The Airport Management degree program was founded on the principal of teaching evidence-based and real-world practices so graduates will enter the workforce with experiences on par with what they would gain from years of on-the-job experience.
Going into its third year, the Conexus Intern Program has grown from 30 companies employing 84 students in 2015 to more than 80 companies and more than 260 students expected in the summer of 2017. Conexus Indiana is a non-profit consortium of the state’s advanced manufacturers and logistics (AML) industries.
Saint Louis University’s Summer Transportation Institute is a non-residential camp for students from high schools in the St. Louis metropolitan area featuring a series of field trips, activities, games, and lectures.
Experiential learning is central to the institute’s curriculum. The camp provides opportunities for students to collaborate. “They learn the value of collaboration through hands-on activities, rather than hearing it from us,” said Kianfar. “We want them to see that they can solve real-world problems. They learn they have the ability and background to become engineers.”
Apprenticeship is a proven talent development strategy that answers the skills gap, builds loyalty, reduces turn-over rates, and helps increase productivity, according to Dr. Rebecca Lake, Dean of Workforce and Economic Development at Harper College. It works particularly well, Lake points out, when an employee who is nearing retirement is assigned as a mentor to an apprentice. The two-to-three-year timeframe of an apprenticeship allows that important knowledge transfer to take place before the older employee is lost to retirement.
A career in Supply Chain Management can encompass a lot of different jobs. Many people understand that a logistics coordinator works in Supply Chain Management, but not everyone immediately sees that the field includes sales people, truck drivers, and warehouse managers among many other roles. Supply Chain OKI involves business members, government agencies, chambers of commerce, community organizations, port authorities, and educational institutions to build talent capability so employers will have the talent they need to fill positions. Ultimately, the goal is to establish a process for potential employees to gain the skills they need to get good paying jobs with career advancement opportunities.
Career awareness efforts are most effective when they inspire interest among young people. An event hosted by the Transportation and Logistics Management Research Center at the University of Wisconsin–Superior is designed to do just that. By partnering with a local council of the Girl Scouts, Dr. Richard Stewart, the center’s director, has developed a day-long event that brings elementary and middle-school-aged girls to the UW–Superior campus to explore careers in transportation.
Since it was launched, Transportation Today WI has transformed career and technical education (CTE) programs across Wisconsin into desired destinations, not just a place where some students end up, according to publisher, Renée Feight. This change is, in part, because the newspaper written for students brings awareness of great career prospects in transportation to the classroom. […]