ProMat 2019 Student Days provided real-world opportunities and even jobs during this record-setting event.
* By Maria Leggett *
Imagine going from university student to supply chain employee at one of the hottest 100 retailers in a matter of two days. That was Libby Weaver’s experience when she attended the annual Student Days event at ProMat 2019. Weaver, a senior majoring in supply chain management at Western Illinois University, found herself onstage participating in an on-the-spot interview during this highly interactive student event led by ProMat keynote Marcus Lemonis. More on that to come, here is some background on Student Days.
Started 16 years ago, MHI partners with the College Industry Council on Material Handling Education (CICMHE), Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association (MHEDA) and the Material Handling Education Foundation (MHEFI) to present Student Days at ProMat 2019. With sponsorships from MHI members Bastian Solutions, Hanel Storage Systems, The Raymond Company, Toyota Material Handling USA and Vanderlande Industries, Student Days showcases not only the solutions and technology but the possibilities and future of a rapidly growing industry for young professionals.
This year’s event had a recording breaking attendance with over 250 students and faculty from 40 CTE, high school and universities, an increase of 50% over last year’s event attendance. “Witnessing how this event has grown over the past 16 years is very rewarding and a testament to its value” says Liz Richards, CEO of MHEDA. “MHEDA is honored to be a co-sponsor of Student Days, and we look forward to helping to host the Classroom Day event each year. Inviting students to learn more about this vibrant industry is a valuable endeavor and a win-win for the students who may not be aware of the many exciting career path opportunities that exist and an ideal forum for industry professionals who are seeking new talent.”
Students attending the event learned from Toyota Material Handling North America President and CEO and MHI President Brett Wood that their skills are needed in a rapidly growing industry with plentiful careers. Kicking off the session with some excellent advice from his 30-year tenure in the industry, Wood encouraged students to always be prepared to speak to their skills and education with a prepared elevator pitch. Little did they know, that graduating seniors in the audience would later in the day have an opportunity to practice their pitch with an on-the-spot interview with a well-known industry entrepreneur.