The net result is that today's warehouse and distribution employees aren't filling what we've come to consider day-laborer jobs or heavy-lifting positions. They are actually taking on important technology roles. The advances in automating warehouses and distribution centers to accommodate just-in-time manufacturing have delivered great productivity. The software used is now so integral to complex warehousing processes and task management that companies are seeking job applicants with knowledge of the technology. From the CIO perspective, new hires in operations should have hands-on experience with these software platforms.
It follows that employees trained in logistic optimization and use of these systems are gaining an advantage in the job hunt, especially in regions where distribution centers are being built. Companies are recognizing that these employees will need full computer and equipment knowledge to keep abreast of the technological advancements in the field of material handling.
To address this driving need, the Material Handling Education Foundation, Inc. in conjunction with the Material Handling Industry of America (MHIA) are advancing training programs at the high-school, technical & community college level across the nation. The Material Handling Industry of America is the international trade association that represents the manufacturers of the equipment, goods and services of the supply chain. Through donations of their products, the TCEP (Technical Career Education Program) is establishing laboratories in high schools and technical colleges to provide hands-on work experience to future workers. Member corporations of MHIA, such as RedPrairie, Yale Fork Truck, Hanel Storage, Unarco, and many others have donated their products -- such as rack, conveyors, fork trucks, computers and software -- to these labs.