Vance, Alabama -May 10, 2016 BLG Logistics USA held its 4th annual BLG Academy Graduation on May 5, 2016 in Vance, Alabama where the company provides sophisticated third party logistics services to major automotive original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and their top tier supplier companies.
Recognizing the shortage of qualified talent in the logistics industry worldwide, BLG established its proprietary training program, BLG Academy, in Vance, AL, in cooperation with area high schools. Participating students receive instruction in health and safety, warehouse operations, supply chain management, procurement and workplace essentials. Over the years, Cerit Bryant, director of human resources for BLG Logistics has noticed how common it is for high school students to have no practical experience for the real world after graduation. Through career technical programs such as this one, however, more students are now receiving skills to enter the workforce.
"Logistics is not a normal curriculum in higher education," Bryant said. "At the end of the one year, we have a qualified work force of anywhere between 20 and 40 people."
In addition to theory classes twice a week at school, the students commute to the BLG warehouse to perform hands on training three times a week, which provides exposure to additional requirements and realities of maintaining a job, instilling discipline and experience well beyond formal curriculum.
BLG Logistics is proactively developing the very talent it needs to fuel business growth in this dynamic industry, in collaboration with many area organizations and businesses, such as ARD Logistics, the Tuscaloosa County School System and the German American Chamber of Commerce of the Southern United States.
Stefanie Jehlitschka, vice president of the German American Chamber, said the program serves a variety of purposes for both employers and potential employees.
"The employee builds a loyalty to the company that trains them and the company gets to know the possible future employee," she said. "What better combination do you have of the person already knowing your company through the training, building a trust and the company knowing the skill set of what that future employee has."
In 2012, the graduating class included just eight students. This year's 33-student graduation included students from Brookwood High, Bessemer City High, Bibb County Career Academy and Paul W. Bryant High. Students from West Blocton High are also enrolled in the program.
"It feels good that I have something to fall back on right out of high school, learning a new trade," said Chase Cochran, a senior at Brookwood who will begin working fulltime for BLG in the upcoming months.
The Future of Education and Training
"I applaud you all for taking this step into a career-centric program at 17 and 18 years old." Jehlitschka said logistics is a growing field that demands a strong workforce. "We know in Germany, 16 and 17-year-olds are entering the workforce in these programs. I think this should absolutely should be the future of education and training."
"It's a response to a need stated by our industry partners in the automotive cluster with regard to logistics," said Dennis Duncan, director of the Tuscaloosa County School System's career technical education programs.
About BLG Group
Founded in 1877, 65 merchants founded BLG Logistics under the name Bremer Lagerhaus-Gesellschaft. (BLG), a pioneer in seaport operations and by the 1950's, the first German container port in operation. The BLG Group has developed into a globally-operating logistics company. Customers include the leading German automobile manufacturers as well as strong commercial brands. Globally, BLG LOGISTICS provides around 16,000 jobs. Everywhere BLG operates, the skills of our employees constitute an important factor in our success. Today BLG Logistics is a $1.5Bil company operates three separate divisions: Automotive, Container/Intermodal and Contract Logistics. For more, please go to www.blg-logistics.com.
About BLG Logistics USA
In the United States, BLG is headquartered in Atlanta, GA and plays an instrumental role in the supply chains of major automotive manufacturers and suppliers in the US Southeast, with increasing focus on service and agile response for the manufacturing supply chains of major global brands. For more, please go to www.blg-logistics.com.
BLG 2016 Graduates pictured above:
Brookwood High: Benjamin Bailey, Chase Cochran, Chelsey Dickinson, Jamison Elam, Lucas Hubbard, Cameron McCormack, Jason Short, Richard Winkleblack and Garrett Jordan.
Bessemer High: William Jeffries, Tiffany Yelling, Kierra Varner, Stevonna Davis, Michaela Harris, Antonette Ramsey, Ma'Kayla Banks, Ananda Danzy, Kimani McGuire and Vontrice Gaines.
Bibb County: Derrick Lilly, Breanna Garrett and, Leroy Phillips
Bryant High: Levon Baker Jr., Xavion Bennett, Rayshaun Bradley, Eric Hayward, Tyler Neal, Brandon Pritchett, Tyhjerman Sledge, Tynara Tay