May 23, 2014

Industry group works to fill material handling technician gap

MHI's Integrated Systems & Controls Council is taking steps to recruit more technicians to install, maintain, and upgrade warehouse equipment.

By David Maloney

The need for qualified technicians to install, maintain, and upgrade warehouse technology is becoming critical, and the Integrated Systems & Controls Council, an industry group within MHI, is taking notice. During its spring meeting, held in Charlotte, N.C., in mid-May, the council invited Steve Harrington of the National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education (SCTE) to discuss his organization's efforts to recruit technicians to the industry. Harrington said there are currently about 200,000 technicians nationwide, but many more will be needed as more companies turn to automated systems and the systems themselves become more complex.

SCTE is conducting a gap analysis of existing technical training programs, identifying the technologies used in the market and the curriculum needed to train technicians. The organization also works with community colleges and trade schools that provide two-year training programs for technicians and assists other institutions with adding material handling technician programs to their curriculums.

To help channel more workers into the industry, MHI is now developing a technician certification program.

About the Author

David Maloney
Editorial Director
David Maloney has been a journalist for more than 35 years and is currently the editorial director for DC Velocity and Supply Chain Quarterly magazines. In this role, he is responsible for the editorial content of both brands of Agile Business Media. Dave joined DC Velocity in April of 2004. Prior to that, he was a senior editor for Modern Materials Handling magazine. Dave also has extensive experience as a broadcast journalist. Before writing for supply chain publications, he was a journalist, television producer and director in Pittsburgh. Dave combines a background of reporting on logistics with his video production experience to bring new opportunities to DC Velocity readers, including web videos highlighting top distribution and logistics facilities, webcasts and other cross-media projects. He continues to live and work in the Pittsburgh area.

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