This commentary was written by Patrick Stumpf, the economic development communications manager for the Greater Green Bay Chamber. The views expressed are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of FreightWaves or its affiliates.
By Patrick Stumpf
When considering an education and jobs of tomorrow, there might not be a better match than the institutions of higher learning and the booming logistics industry in Green Bay, Wisconsin.
Transportation and logistics (T&L), a strength of Green Bay’s industry, is quickly becoming one of the country’s fastest-growing fields — one that encompasses careers in everything from purchasing, inventory management and data analytics to warehousing, lean manufacturing and much more.
Already a hub for several top-tier companies, another asset of the Greater Green Bay logistics industry is its proximity to several exceptional college campuses — whether Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC), St. Norbert College or the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay — which advantageously positions it to foster future talent pipelines.
Recent data shows that an education in a logistics-related field pays off, providing immediate opportunities for job placement.
NWTC’s Supply Chain Management program, for example, boasts a 100% job placement rate, with 80% of students landing a job in a supply chain-related field, according to Angela Hansen-Winker, lead supply chain management faculty member at NWTC.
As quality education meets unmatched internship opportunities for students to build their experience close to home, “there is simply no better place to be than Green Bay for those passionate about the profession,” according to Schneider President and CEO Mark Rourke.
“Students that study T&L improve their employability and earning potential with local companies,” added Hansen-Winker. “We have one of the largest transportation companies in North America [Schneider] located right here. Our students are mission-ready to work for any Fortune 500 company in the field.”
Dan Heiser, dean of the Donald J. Schneider School of Business & Economics at St. Norbert College, sees a similar abundance of opportunity for students in Greater Green Bay, which can ultimately be a conduit for filling the local talent pipeline.
“One of the best ways to supplement a classroom education is through an internship,” Heiser said. “Greater Green Bay has an abundance of manufacturers and logistics providers in search of talent, and we’d love to collaborate more with local businesses to help fill their needs.
“A well-crafted internship program allows the company to directly observe the intern’s skill set. Perhaps more importantly, it also allows the intern to see what career opportunities the company can offer upon graduation.”
While students learn about the industry over the course of an internship program, they aren’t the only ones who benefit. MatchBack Systems Inc., a Green Bay-based company that uses an innovative approach to manage shipping container costs, has seen firsthand the benefits of differing points of view which drive growth.
“We’ve seen tremendous benefit from the internship programs,” said Tammy Leurquin, chief technology officer at MatchBack Systems. “Students receive hands-on exposure to an industry they might not have considered, while we benefit from the interns’ expertise and fresh perspectives. At MatchBack Systems, our interns are excited to learn how technology is transforming logistics, and some have become valued employees.”
Companies and colleges in the area also understand the importance of playing the “long game” when it comes to getting in front of students. That means everything from tailored curriculum to meeting students where they are.
“Greater Green Bay’s higher education establishments have brought T&L into the classroom,” Leurquin said. “They…