Thanks to two unusual educational programs in South Carolina and Pennsylvania, young workers are getting hands-on training in material handling and warehouse operations. At the keynote session "How Industry is Changing Material Handling Training and Education," the directors of the programs described how they are preparing high school and college-age students for a career path in warehouse management.
Don Gillman, director of the Applied Technology Center in Rock Hill, S.C., which is part of the local public school system, discussed the school's Don Frazier Material Handling Training Center, a fully functioning, 3,000-square-foot warehouse that opened in March 2009. The training facility has both manual and automated equipment that allows the instructors to simulate warehousing and distribution processes. An advisory board of warehousing and distribution professionals offers guidance on the skills students will need while also making sure the program is relevant and up-to-date. The first class in the material handling and warehousing program included 75 high school students; 47 of them have indicated that they are interested in a career in the field, Gillman said.