ProMat educational tracks cover workforce of the future and sustainability

Educational tracks share insights into the workforce of the future and sustainability in the supply chain

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There’s more to the supply chain than on-time deliveries and inventory-on-hand. There are people. Just try and get anything done without them. And yet—with three generations currently in the workforce and the forecasted decline of available workers in the future—gaining an understanding of how to be successful at leading the people who keep the supply chain moving is critical.

These issues will be explored at ProMat on Tuesday, March 22, from 1 to 4:15 p.m. in Room S401 on the fourth level of McCormick Place South in the first of two educational tracks offered: “The People Side of the Supply Chain.”

Geared toward early careerists to the well-established, a series of presentations and panel discussions will detail the variety of resources available to help keep people interested, engaged and committed to a supply chain career and to your company.

The sessions feature a presentation by Dan J. Boos, principal at BCS, LLC, and the director of organizational development and human capital at CEC. Boos, who also serves as host and moderator for the subsequent panel discussions, says attendees will leave the sessions with a better understanding of both the quantitative and qualitative challenges facing employers in the near future.

“There needs to be a recognition of the generational and motivational differences between the three generations of workers out there—Baby Boomers, Generation X and Generation Y—as well as the fact that we simply will not be able to make up the difference, in sheer numbers, between the loss of retiring Boomers and the smaller size of Gen Y,” says Boos.

Session attendees should take away an understanding of how to nimbly approach these unique challenges, as well as understand why it’s critical for the materials handling industry to be preemptive in developing talent pools that are interested in material handling as a career path.

“Companies in the industry have to commit to reaching out to students at the high school level to help them become much more aware of the opportunities that exist, particularly in light of the shrinking of the talent pool in terms of numbers,” adds Boos.

Session topics, times, and featured panelists for Tuesday’s session break out as follows:
1 to 1:30 p.m. How to Capitalize on Diversity in the Workforce, presented by Dan Boos. Boos has more than 25 years of consulting experience and is an industry-recognized expert in the fields of leadership development and organizational change management. He has managed change transformation efforts and coached corporate executives on five continents and in more than a dozen countries.
1:30 to 2 p.m. Preparing People for the Workforce, a panel discussion featuring Kimberly Ellis, an associate professor in the Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Virginia Tech; Justin Love of Schlumberger; Kathy DePiro, MSSC certified logistics technician and an instructor with the Greater Altoona Career & Tech Center; and Craig Eckenrode, of the Stevens Co.

2:00 to 2:30 p.m. What a Peer Learning Group Can Do for Your Career, featuring Josh Dennie of Optimax, and Bruce Peters of WCEOHQ-Radio.

2:30 to 3:00 p.m. My Aspirations: 20-Somethings Sound Off On What Makes Them Tick, a panel discussion featuring Kim Absil, general manager for Sears Holdings, Josh Demmie of Optimax, and Justin Love of Schlumberger.

3:00 to 3:30 What Are You Worth and Why?, offers insights from industry publications with Mitch MacDonald, president and CEO of Agile Business Media and group editorial director for DC Velocity and CSCMP’s Supply Chain Quarterly; and David Blanchard, editorial director and associate publisher of Material Handling & Logistics.

3:30 to 4:15 Keeping Top Talent as the Economy Recovers, a closing presentation from Dan Boos.

Sustainability, the Supply Chain and Their Future Together
On Wednesday, March 23, from 1 to 5 p.m. in Room S401 on the fourth level of McCormick Place South, the second educational track, “Sustainability, the Supply Chain and Their Future Together,” will take place.

In a series of presentations, the opportunities to improve operations by injecting sustainability into the supply chain will be explored.

The sessions are hosted by Steve Thomas, Emmy Award-winning host of Renovation Nation on the Planet Green network, and the 14-year host of television’s most popular home improvement series, This Old House—a series he left after the 2002/2003 season. A renovation and sustainability expert, Thomas kicks off the session by sharing insights into how “The Green Supply Chain Starts at Home.”

“The big question I will answer is, what is green, and how does the supply chain fit into that picture,” says Thomas. “There’s a lot of confusion, and my goal is to help supply chain experts understand what green really is so they can explain it to their bosses and to their customers. Because ultimately green comes down to pure economics.”

“There’s a tendency to think that anything green is more expensive, where as the old, non-green way is cheaper and more profitable, but long-term, that’s erroneous,” Thomas asserts, noting that big companies, including Walmart—which is also presenting during this session—have come to understand that sustainable business practices across the board are good for business and the bottom line, as well as for intangibles like image and brand building.

“When it comes right down to it, it is more economical and more profitable to employ sustainable, lower impact methods of building, manufacturing, transportation and distribution,” says Thomas.
Following Thomas’ presentation, Wednesday’s presentations are as follows:

1:45 to 2:30 p.m., Gary Forger, senior vice president of professional development for the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) will discuss “Top Trends in Industrial Sustainability.”

2:30 to 3:15 p.m., Mike Englhard of ProLogis will discuss “How LEED Certification Cuts Costs and Improves Efficiencies.”

3:15 to 4 p.m., Virginia Garbutt of Wal-Mart Canada will share “Wal-Mart’s Plan for Sustainable Distribution.”

ProMat 2011 will be held March 21 - 24, 2011 at McCormick Place South in Chicago. The tradeshow will showcase the latest manufacturing, distribution and supply chain solutions in the material handling and logistics industry.

Read all of Modern’s ProMat 2011 coverage


About the Author

Sara Pearson Specter
Sara Pearson Specter has written articles and supplements for Modern Materials Handling and Material Handling Product News as an Editor at Large since 2001. Specter has worked in the fields of graphic design, advertising, marketing, and public relations for nearly 20 years, with a special emphasis on helping business-to-business industrial and manufacturing companies. She owns her own marketing communications firm, Sara Specter, Marketing Mercenary LLC. Clients include companies in a diverse range of fields, including materials handing equipment, systems and packaging, professional and financial services, regional economic development and higher education. Specter graduated from Centre College in Danville, Ky. with a bachelor’s degree in French and history. She lives in Oregon’s Willamette Valley where she and her husband are in the process of establishing a vineyard and winery.

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