APICS-Atlanta, GMA, and Georgia Hispanic Chamber Partner to Educate Elementary Students About End-to-End Supply Chain Opportunities

Staff Report From Georgia CEO

Thursday, May 16th, 2019

How can communities better prepare students for success and ensure that businesses have the pipeline of skilled workers they need to thrive? Cities and states across the country are facing this dual challenge and a growing number are looking to educate the younger generation as a solution.

Thanks to Scott Luton, Executive Vice President of APICS Atlanta and dozens of outstanding volunteers, Supply Chain 101, is growing program that educates elementary students about the end-to-end Supply Chain world. This program plants seeds of awareness in elementary students about the job opportunities that are available in procurement, manufacturing, logistics & transportation, and engineering.

“Since November 2017, we led volunteers into 11 schools across Georgia, and in over 40 sessions, have engaged over 1,000 students about all the opportunities across the end-to-end Supply Chain,” said Luton. “And we’re just getting started. With exceptional partners like the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance and the Georgia Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, we look forward to expanding the program in the months ahead and continuing to help tackle the skills gap.”

Supply Chain 101 centers around the lemonade supply chain. After giving examples of the automotive supply chain and the chocolate bar supply chain, the students focus in on the lemonade supply chain by being a part of 5 groups: the lemon farm team, the lemon juice factory, the sugar refinery plant, the transportation team and the warehouse team. Working together with their fellow classmates and volunteer Supply Chain professionals, they discuss how to make their customers happy, as well as what problems they might need to plan for.

“It is so neat to see a light bulb come on when children realize what it takes to bring a product, that is a familiar staple in their homes, from the farm to the table,” said Jason Moss, CEO of the Georgia Manufacturing Alliance (GMA) and volunteer for Supply Chain 101. “The U.S. factory sector clearly needs an influx of young talent, and the educational system must convince its university graduates and younger students that there are rewards in a manufacturing career.”

Attracting and retaining qualified employees is a huge concern to Georgia’s manufacturers. According to the Manufacturing Institute, the U.S. is in the early stages of a period of dramatic population aging, and the manufacturing sector appears to be disproportionately experiencing the ramifications. Recent studies show the median age in manufacturing was 44.7 years versus 42.3 years for the total workforce.