Over the past half dozen years, there's been an enormous amount of hand-wringing over the looming shortage of talent in the logistics and supply chain profession. So much so that it's hard to recall a major industry conference that hasn't had some manner of presentation on issues surrounding what's come to be known as the "workforce of the future."
Let's put aside for a moment the conundrum of a lack of qualified bodies for logistics and supply chain-related jobs at a time of historically high unemployment among young adults. It would seem to be more an issue of raising awareness of career tracks and compensation levels than a shortage of candidates. But that's a debate for another day. Instead, let's focus for a moment on understanding the young people who will constitute tomorrow's workforce. What's their perspective? Where are they coming from? How differently do they view things than, say, a 45-year-old supply chain professional does?
One of the best places to find answers to such questions is the annual "Mindset List," which has been published just before Labor Day every year since 1998 by two staff members at Beloit College in Beloit, Wis. According to its authors, the annual list is an attempt to "provid[e] a look at the cultural touchstones that shape the lives of students entering college this fall." Originally created as a tongue-in-cheek reminder to Beloit's faculty to beware of dated references, the Mindset List has evolved over the past 15 years into what the authors call an "internationally monitored catalog of the changing worldview of each new college generation."
So as members of the class of 2017 (and potential constituents of the "workforce of the future") take their seats and begin their college careers, here are just a few of the observations the folks at Beloit College have shared about these students, mostly born in 1995:
Pay attention to them, and get to know them. These college freshmen are a big part of our future. In fact, some of them just might end up working for you someday.