Most logistics professionals need years of college training to hone the skills demanded to run a modern distribution center. Last month, however, a high school in Patterson, Calif., opened a facility that puts its graduates on the fast track to landing a job in the region's burgeoning logistics sector. Developed from a modest, classroom-based business logistics program over a three-year period, the new Patterson Supply Chain and Logistics Training Center includes four classrooms and three working warehouses.
Students in the program develop DC experience by working in the receiving, storage, and shipping warehouses. All in all, they expect to receive and ship out thousands of books per year in a partnership with First Book, a nonprofit dedicated to providing new books to children in need.
To ensure the program is teaching marketable skills, the school has built partnerships with corporations such as Amazon.com Inc. and Restoration Hardware Inc. that have recently opened large warehouse operations in the city. Expansion plans include adding a programmable robotic arm and a virtual reality forklift simulator, so graduating students know they will have the qualifications to step directly into a logistics career pathway.