Grant to upgrade, certify California logistics work force skills

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Southern California has started a three-year $4.3 million U.S. Department of Labor training grant to upgrade and certify work force skills in the nation’s largest logistics hub. A group of community colleges began to deliver various courses this January to prepare both entry-level and incumbent workers in the advanced skills needed by the region to enhance its productivity and global competitiveness in the industry.

The centerpiece of this grant is the use of first-ever industry-led national certifications for material handling workers provided by the nationwide Manufacturing Skill Standards Council, which certifies the core technical skills of the front-line industrial work force. The nonprofit MSSC offers both a foundational-level Certified Logistics Associate and mid-level technical Certified Logistics Technician credential. These cover material handling workers in all supply chain facilities, including warehouses, distribution centers, transporters and production sites.

This grant is being implemented under the Southern California Logistics Technology Collaborative. The participating community colleges in the SCLTC are San Bernardino, Long Beach, East L.A. and Riverside. SCLTC also embraces eight work force centers, five community organizations and seven industry partners, including UPS, Port of Long Beach, Schneider Logistics and Hillwood Alliance.

“Located around the country’s two busiest container ports and second-largest airborne trade gateway, the SCLTC is an ideal organization for using the industry-recognized nationally portable CLA/CLT certifications to advance the skills and knowledge of the front-line supply chain logistics work force,” says Leo Reddy, MSSC chief executive officer.