Experts agree: Our industry is in the early stages of a talent crisis. With baby boomers retiring, and unemployment low, the impacts of this crisis are being felt throughout the supply chain. We need to find ways to attract the best and the brightest students to pursue careers in our industry. But how? How do we get young people excited about the variety of career opportunities in supply chain, logistics and material handling?
One creative approach is to turn the enormous MODEX 2016 show floor into a living classroom. And that’s exactly what we’ve done with Student Days.
For the last 12 years, MHI has partnered with the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE), the Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA), the Material Handling Education Foundation Inc. (MHEFI), the MHI Career & Technical Education (CTE) community and our association members throughout the industry to host a student event at every MHI trade show.
Some people remember this as a one-day event held on Wednesday that was called “Classroom Day.” But we’ve built on the success of Classroom Day, and at ProMat 2015 it was expanded into a two-day event with a record 200 participants. This new, bigger event is now called “Student Days.” Wednesday is still focused on the trade show, but the students and teachers now spend Thursday taking tours of working distribution facilities.
By Daniel Stanton, MHI vice president of education and workforce development