APICS Rolls Out Expanded Supply Chain STEM Educational Outreach Program

In our 2017 MHI Annual Industry Report, one of the key problems in material handling and supply chain that our survey respondents identified was a lack of new or qualified workers, or the talent/skills gap.

APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE explains the catalyst for the expanding program, citing “Sixty million baby boomers will leave the workforce by 2025, while only forty million millennials will enter it in their place.”

In response to this growing trend, APICS, an association for supply chain management, has announced that they are launching an expanded Supply Chain STEM Educational Outreach Program. Eshkenazi says that expanding the Outreach program is a direct response to decreasing the skills gap.

The program aims to introduce students as young as kindergarten all the way through high school graduation to supply chain and show that there are promising careers within the industry. APICS is targeting a goal of reaching 100,000 students by 2020.

Unless people work in the industry, they tend to remain unaware of the reach and impact supply chain and material handling has on their everyday lives, which is why it’s important to introduce young people (and not so young people) to supply chain.

APICS Director of Academic Outreach, Cheryl Dalson, was working with Intel alongside Michigan State University and Arizona State University to create and test interactive STEM activities for school age students before coming to APICS to form the Outreach Program.

The activities developed and rolled out in the program center around supply chain and are a hands on way to learn STEM concepts. APICS provides the tools and resources necessary, but rely and teachers and volunteers to lead the activities in different settings.

The Outreach Program activities are free and available to anyone interested in using them. Teachers, parents, and volunteers can download toolkits on the program’s STEM activities page.