Detroit Region Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Talent Initiative

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Report on workforce development progress for Translinked, the Detroit Regional Chamber's initiative to develop the Southeast Michigan, Northwest Ohio and Southwest Ontario region into a world-class and globally recognized transportation and logistics hub.

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Detroit Region Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Talent Initiative

  1. 1. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentDecember 1, 2011– March 1, 2012 Developing a TDL Workforce Hub Performance Report for Transportation, Distribution and Logistics to: • New Economy Initiative for Southeast Michigan (NEI) Greg Handel and Robert Troutman Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation One Woodward Avenue, Suite 1900 Detroit, Michigan 48232
  2. 2. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentTransportation, Distribution andLogistics TalentDEVELOPING A TDL WORKFORCE HUBTable of ContentsBACKGROUND...................................................................................................................... 2GOAL .................................................................................................................................... 2OBJECTIVES ......................................................................................................................... 3ACHIEVEMENTS ................................................................................................................... 4 Objective 1 ................................................................................................................................................... 4 Recruit employer partners to a workforce advisory council.................................................................... 4 Objective 2 ................................................................................................................................................... 5 Contract with workforce consultants to assist in development and implementation processes to gather workforce/labor market information........................................................................................................ 5 Assist in facilitating a process for using the information to develop workforce solutions in the TDL industry. 5 Objective 3 ................................................................................................................................................... 5 Conduct additional analysis of current TDL workforce needs. ............................................................... 5 Objective 4 ................................................................................................................................................... 7 Benchmark the workforce development programs operated in other regions with strong TDL sectors.7 Benchmarking: Columbus, OH .................................................................................................................. 8 Benchmarking: Atlanta, GA ...................................................................................................................... 8 Objective 5 ................................................................................................................................................ 10 Benchmark existing education and training programs through program site visits and feedback from employers. ............................................................................................................................................................... 10 Objective 6 ................................................................................................................................................ 12 Identify gaps in TDL workforce needs and existing education and training available. ...................... 12 Objective 7 ................................................................................................................................................ 12 Develop a set of recommendations on TDL workforce development. ................................................. 12 Objective 8 ................................................................................................................................................ 13 Create a virtual TDL workforce hub, connecting workers, employers and training providers. ........... 13CONCLUSION ..................................................................................................................... 14Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 1
  3. 3. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentBACKGROUNDIn 2007, the Detroit Regional Chamber embarked on a mission to leverage the Detroit region’s transportation assets forbusiness attraction and job creation. The importance and value of the region’s freight movements are crucial for thenational economy. Few areas in the country can match the number and variety of assets in this region. Our history inmanufacturing and logistics related to the automotive industry has given us access from the major international ports tothe heart of manufacturing and production in the United States. Translinked was introduced at the Detroit RegionalChamber 2008 Mackinac Policy Conference and was made of the Chamber and its members to strategically plan ourfuture logistics and mobility resources. Translinked’s focus is to develop the Southeast Michigan, Northwest Ohio, andSouthwest Ontario region into a world-class and globally recognized transportation and logistics hub.In June 2010, the Chamber received a grant from NEI to develop a workforce development program in the TDL sector.The Chamber seeks to coordinate workforce development with economic development being undertaken through theTranslinked initiative. In August 2011, the Chamber requested a no-cost modification to the grant.The goal of NEI is to increase prosperity and expand opportunities for all residents and communities in SoutheastMichigan. A key element in its efforts to achieve these goals is strategies that build on a sectorial approach to createemployment opportunities in Southeast Michigan. Major components in most all of these programs are: 1) improving coordination, information and research 2) convening workforce and employer leaders and 3) leveraging private and public funds.TDL is one of NEI’s four identified sectors.GOALDevelop a workforce development hub that connects employers, education and training providers, and economicdevelopment agencies and workers, and provide a mechanism for employers to determine the direction of education andtraining programs.Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 2
  4. 4. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentOBJECTIVESTo ensure that employer needs drive workforce development for the TDL sector and to: • Improve workforce development by implementing an employer-driven approach to training. • Increase successful employee placement and retention. • Reduce job loss within sectors. • Support advancement of low-wage workers.The grant objectives according to the August 2011 request for grant modification include:Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 3
  5. 5. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentACHIEVEMENTSObjective 1Recruit employer partners to a workforce advisory council.What has been accomplished to date: The Detroit Regional Chamber formed an active employer advisory council toguide the grant work and serve as a vehicle for engaging employers in workforce solutions going forward. The advisorycommittee includes members from transportation and logistics companies, as well as companies that manage their ownin-house logistics. The advisory committee met three times between August 2010 and January 2011. While we believethis is a strong advisory group, we are interested in recruiting additional high-level members from the automotiveindustry in particular to ensure we have employer representation from companies operating what are arguably the mostsophisticated supply chains in the world.The Chamber’s economic development programs are finalizing committee structure and plan to move forward withcommittees. The draft committee structure for economic development is below:Major challenges: Awaiting development and approval of committee structure. In-depth interviews are beingconducted now with 35-50 employers. Some of these are potential recruits for the workforce group as we use the datafrom the interviews to help craft a workforce solution.What we have learned so far: Based on discussions with industry experts and successful TDL hubs in other regions,we have learned that the Talent Committee of the Translinked initiative should concentrate on the following goals: • Assess employer needs by surveying the private sector.Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 4
  6. 6. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Talent • Cultivate and leverage the region’s human capital in the supply chain and logistics industry. • Connect employers, workers, educational institutions, and entrepreneurs to increase industry development. • Create career awareness.Expected completion date: December 2012Objective 2Contract with workforce consultants to assist in development and implementation processes togather workforce/labor market information.Assist in facilitating a process for using the information to develop workforce solutions in theTDL industry.What has been accomplished to date: The Detroit Regional Chamber released an RFP in November 2011.ManpowerGroup was selected to provide the desired services in November 2011. ManpowerGroup has completed 15interviews with 17 more scheduled as of March 1, 2012.Major challenges: No major challenges.What we have learned so far: ManpowerGroup is conducting a thorough employer-needs analysis.Expected completion date: The contract work is under way and ongoing.Objective 3Conduct additional analysis of current TDL workforce needs.What has been accomplished to date: In addition to engaging the private sector for value proposition development,Translinked began work to conduct an employer-needs assessment by soliciting TDL workforce input from companyhuman resources executives. An RFP for development of the TDL Workforce Hub was released in November 2011. TheDetroit Regional Chamber’s requested services included development and execution of an in-person interview processthat would include 35-50 top employers in the TDL sector, resulting in a report with recommendations that will facilitatecoordination and the exchange of information among TDL employers, TDL educators and training programs, and workers.The report will include: • Analysis of current and projected future workforce needs • Information on hard-to-fill positions • A description of current recruitment processes • Identification of possible skill/training needs of the incumbent workforce • Identification of best practices in recruitment and retention and possible development of career ladders within companies • A summary of the gaps between demand and supply of labor in the TDL industry, including low, medium, and high skill levelsThe results of this research will be combined with the results of an ongoing regional TDL and supply chain managementtraining and educational program inventory Translinked is conducting, along with a preliminary survey of TDL employersthat Translinked administered in 2010.Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 5
  7. 7. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentThe Detroit Regional Chamber selected ManpowerGroup to complete the TDL employer-needs assessment and makerecommendations for the creation of a virtual TDL Workforce Hub, a central resource connecting employers, trainingorganizations, employees, and entrepreneurs through a talent portal. This work will occur in coordination with theWorkforce Intelligence Network (WIN), an NEI and MEDC-funded multi-county talent initiative in Southeast Michigan.Work on the needs assessment is under way.The employer workforce needs survey results will be supplemented with an analysis of labor market data for trends, andidentification and recording of employer best practices with respect to workforce recruitment, training and retention.Major challenges: None at this time.What we have learned so far: ManpowerGroup’s preliminary update includes the following trends.General hiring trends: • Overall employment numbers have been either flat or slightly decreasing over the past 1-3 years. • Some companies have experienced a slight increase in hiring over the past 1-3 years (reasons include staffing a new call center and the recent uptick in the automobile industry). • Most companies are reporting a positive outlook over the next 1-2 years with expected increased hiring. • Companies predict positive, modest gains over the next 2 years. • Companies have an interest in recruiting Veterans (programs, outreach efforts, affinity groups) and retirees.Recruitment practice trends: • Some positions rely mostly on relationships with unions (skilled trades such as carpentry, electrical, drivers, etc.). • Other positions rely heavily on digital channels (LinkedIn, CareerBuilder, Monster, etc.). • Many companies focus on internal networking and hiring and promoting from within, when possible. • All companies interviewed thus far have active college recruiting strategies, including campus visits, guest lectures, mentoring, presence at job fairs, etc. • Few schools offer vehicle maintenance management programs. • Some companies have active pipelining of candidates. • Key leaders within many organizations have relationships with deans at appropriate and relevant schools. • Some companies are reviewing and revamping their on-boarding and training programs.Skillsets and ongoing development trends: • Companies have jobs to fill but report difficulty finding candidates that both want to do and are qualified for the work. • Engineering positions seem to be particularly difficult to fill and retain for many organizations due to unrealistic expectations, lack of well-rounded experience, mobility issues, etc. • There is an overall lack of interviewing, writing and presentation skills from recent high school and college graduates. Companies have to add resources to develop these basic skills. • All companies have internal development and incentive programs to attract, retain and develop their employees, like management/leadership training programs, tuition reimbursement, etc. • Companies are seeing some gaps from candidates coming out of driving schools in terms of new technologies around driving, DataColumns, RF scans, etc.Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 6
  8. 8. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Talent • Drivers need two years materials hauling experience. • Technical programs in schools are generally good but don’t focus enough on business skills, like P&L management, basic accounting, and customer service. • Candidates need to present themselves better in order for companies to consider them long-term. • Difficult positions to fill include welding in engineering, marketing in certain areas, and engineers in emerging technologies like remote connections. • Companies are looking for people with some experience, which makes it more difficult to find suitable candidates.Challenges and opportunities: • All companies reported the need for better expectation-setting and career advice at the high school and college levels, partly due to the lack of real-world business experience within the career office. • Companies believe there is a lack of vocational training to better prepare candidates for jobs. • Students are not aware of all job opportunities available in fields where they may have strengths; not every student needs a four-year degree in order to earn a competitive wage. • We should consider possible opportunities to develop additional soft skills around conflict management, writing skills, leadership and others. Good technical people don’t necessarily translate into good leaders. • There is growing competition amongst employers for technical positions (e.g. technology, engineering, and others). • More students need to go into math and science-related career paths. • Students from technical schools have a hard time passing drug tests (15-20% failure rate). • Companies are having trouble finding drivers with two years of experience who are also interested in the work available based on shifts and locations. • Pennsylvania, Texas and Oklahoma are offering state-funded programs to address the driver shortage. Drivers go to that state for certification, and recently-graduated drivers are hired for short-term assignments. • Hard-to-fill positions exist in some locations where demographics are lacking. Candidates have an advantage if they are willing to relocate.Expected completion date: The work is under way and ongoing. ManpowerGroup expects the surveys to be completeby April 1, 2012.Objective 4Benchmark the workforce development programs operated in other regions with strong TDLsectors.What has been accomplished to date: The Detroit Regional Chamber has continued research into other regions’ TDLworkforce programs, including interviews with key contacts. We have conducted site visits to other regions with similarTDL sectors, including Columbus and Atlanta.Major challenges: Making the right contacts and scheduling meetings has been the most difficult part. Overall wehave had no major challenges. Contacts at regions we have visited have consistently been generous andaccommodating.What we have learned so far: Our visits to Columbus and Atlanta have resulted in new relationships and an exchangeof relevant information.Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 7
  9. 9. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentBenchmarking: Columbus, OH In Jan. 2012, we visited Columbus, where we met with the Columbus Chamber of Commerce and Columbus State University. We learned about the Columbus Logistics Council, which is an arm of the Columbus Chamber, and the structure of their committees. The Workforce Developmentcommittee ensures coordination among employers, training programs, and the workforce. Notably, there is nocomprehensive workforce “hub,” but we learned about an effective program at the community college level. ColumbusState Community College (CSCC) has been awarded a three-year grant from the Department of Labor for $4.6 million. Theprogram is called LogisticsART (Attracting and Retaining Talent). Early on, employers were polled related to their laborneeds. Companies were finding it challenging to attract individuals with basic soft skills, such as computer literacy andcustomer service. They also encountered problems with drug screenings and individuals possessing criminalbackgrounds. To address these needs, CSCC created a three-week career certificate with modules that include a job lossworkshop, computers I and II, customer service, job readiness, CLA (Certified Logistics Associate), social media, technicaltraining, and one day of on-the-job training. The program, in its pilot stage, served 1500, trained 1080, and placed 800residents in jobs. The highest demand from employers is for entry to mid-level positions. The LogisticsART programfulfills that need. The LogisticsART program provides transferable credits to the CSCC Supply Chain Managementassociate degree, which also has an articulation with Ohio State University.Benchmarking: Atlanta, GA In February 2012, we visited Atlanta, where we attended the Georgia Logistics Summit and MODEX trade show. We met with representatives from the Georgia Institute of Technology, the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce, and Atlanta Technical College, a community college with a supply chain program. We learned that there is no coordinated system that links employers and education/trainingproviders with job seekers and incumbent workers. The size of the supply chain industry in the Atlanta metro area islarge and employers are well-connected on their own. Most community colleges offer an associate degree program inthe supply chain area. The CSCMP (Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals) chapter in Atlanta is one of thelargest in the country. Skill gaps do exist, according to employers. Most education providers use the competency chartprovided by the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) below:Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 8
  10. 10. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Talent Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Competency ModelChallenges that Atlanta faces in terms of filling employer needs include higher-level jobs like contract logistics sales atUPS. Community colleges and universities often have no articulation agreements in supply chain management. There isalso a huge need for CDL truck drivers, which is common nationwide. We also learned that trucking companies are nowsupplying the training for the community colleges at trucking companies for candidates.Expected completion date: Benchmarking other regions is ongoing and will continue with a visit to Kansas City todiscuss their TDL economic and workforce development structure.Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 9
  11. 11. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentObjective 5Benchmark existing education and training programs through program site visits and feedbackfrom employers.What has been accomplished to date: The Detroit Regional Chamber began the process of making site visits toeducation and training programs in the transportation and logistics field. The purpose of the visits is to gain a morecomplete understanding of what kind of education and training is available around the region and the state as well as tobuild relationships with the people running the programs. Visits were completed to the following educationalinstitutions: University of Michigan Flint Mott Community College Baker College Flint St. Clair County Community College Michigan State University University of Michigan Ann Arbor - Tauber Institute Eastern Michigan UniversityDec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 10
  12. 12. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Talent Wayne State University Michigan Institute of Aviation and Technology Western Michigan UniversityMajor challenges: A major gap is the lack of community college level programming in the TDL field and the lack ofarticulation agreements with universities. The programs that do exist suffer from poor marketing on the K-12 level andlow awareness among students.What we have learned so far: Most universities that we have visited offer at least an undergraduate program insupply chain, sometimes housed in the school of business and sometimes in engineering. Many universities also offerstrong graduate programming at Master’s and Ph.D. levels. We learned that often students do not find out about TDLprogramming until they enter the general business or engineering curriculum early in college. All the universities haveexcellent relationships with the business community and most frequently have their own advisory councils whocontribute regularly to the curriculum. Companies and universities work together on things like job fairs, guest speakingopportunities, internship programs, and student projects to increase real-world experience and further prepare studentsfor a career in supply chain. We did learn of some schools that have articulation agreements, particularly Wayne StateUniversity and Macomb Community College, University of Michigan Flint and Mott Community College, and WesternMichigan University and Kalamazoo Community College. TDL programs are gaining in popularity among students and aregrowing at every school we talked to. Nearly 100% of graduates are placed into jobs, which adds to popularity oncestudents learn of the field of supply chain. Most undergrad programs average 200-300 enrollees currently.From our interviews with railroad companies, we have learned that much of the workforce is aging and soon eligible forretirement. Our region is somewhat lacking in programming for railroad employees, and the companies are in need of anew wave of workers. One training program in the region that does offer a railroad-related curriculum is MichiganInstitute of Aviation and Technology (MIAT), which offers a global logistics and dispatch diploma program. This programis relatively high-cost. Companies are willing to hire candidates with a certificate for positions that do not requiredegrees. Employers make it clear that soft skills are mandatory and more training is needed around soft skills. If acandidate possesses the necessary soft skills, employers are willing to provide further training.The Detroit Regional Chamber is also working to assist Wayne County Community College and training providers likeFocus Hope begin to work on new curriculum as it relates to TDL, especially rail. The LogisticsART model from ColumbusState Community College serves as a model for this region.Expected completion date: Visits to training programs, colleges and universities are still under way. We have plans tovisit all training programs in the state of Michigan. All visits will be complete by December 2012.Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 11
  13. 13. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentObjective 6Identify gaps in TDL workforce needs and existing education and training available.What has been accomplished to date: The Detroit Regional Chamber staff plans to continue to work with employersto determine key growth occupations, critical skills sets and skill gaps to address. The ManpowerGroup findings willassist us with this work. Best practices in creating career ladders within the TDL industry will be part of the Chamber’spartnership with ManpowerGroup and the entire Translinked initiative as well.Major challenges: None at this time.What we have learned so far: Education and training provider site visits, benchmarking the TDL workforce strategiesin other regions, and the ManpowerGroup employer-needs assessment all contribute to this objective on an ongoingbasis. As work in the other objectives is complete, we will be able to identify gapes in TDL workforce needs and existingeducation and training available.Expected completion date: December 2012.Objective 7Develop a set of recommendations on TDL workforce development.What has been accomplished to date: The Detroit Regional Chamber is developing a set of recommendations on TDLworkforce development based on: • Results of employer surveys/interviews • Visits to local education/training providers • Visits to other regionsThe employer surveys and interviews are currently under way through the work of the ManpowerGroup. Visits toeducation and training providers are in process, as well as visits to other regions.Major challenges: None at this time.What we have learned so far: Education and training provider site visits, benchmarking the TDL workforce strategiesin other regions, and the ManpowerGroup employer-needs assessment all contribute to this objective on an ongoingbasis. As work in the other objectives is complete, we will be able to develop a set of recommendations on TDLworkforce development.Expected completion date: December 2012.Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 12
  14. 14. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentObjective 8Create a virtual TDL workforce hub, connecting workers, employers and training providers.What has been accomplished to date: The Detroit Regional Chamber continues plans to implement a virtual hub forTDL workforce to connect employers, education/training programs and workers, as illustrated in the diagrams below:Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 13
  15. 15. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics TalentThe functionality would be partially determined by information collected from employers, education/training providers,workers, and in the previously mentioned fact-finding processes. We expect that it will integrate with the WorkforceIntelligence Network and Translinked. It is expected to include:For workers • Information on careers in TDL • Links/information on specific job opportunities • Links/information on education/training that will prepare them for those opportunitiesFor employers • Links to workers looking for TDL employment • Link to college internships • Links to education/training providers who can refer candidates • Easy access to training providers who can train incumbent workers • Possible seminars/education programs on workforce trends, training and TDL technology that would require training • Information/training on best practices in workforce development and retentionFor education/training providers • Increased/more timely information on employer workforce and training needs • Increased employer demand for incumbent worker training through the organization and marketing of training to the employer community • Information on development of curriculum related to TDL workforceFor all stakeholders • Opportunity to identify “gaps” in the TDL workforce • Opportunity to develop collaborative strategies to address specific workforce needs • Alignment of workforce development with the economic development driven by the Translinked initiativeMajor challenges: None at this time.What we have learned so far: Education and training provider site visits, benchmarking the TDL workforce strategiesin other regions, and the ManpowerGroup employer-needs assessment all contribute to this objective on an ongoingbasis. As work in the other objectives is complete, we will be able to create a virtual TDL workforce hub, connectingworkers, employers and training providers.Expected completion date: December 2012.CONCLUSIONThe workforce development agency of the state of Michigan, a department in the Michigan Economic DevelopmentCorporation (MEDC), has identified five major industry clusters in Michigan to focus on in order to increase productivity,drive innovation and stimulate new business. The identified clusters are illustrated below:Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 14
  16. 16. Transportation, Distribution and Logistics Talent Targeted Industry ClustersIt is important to note that even though TDL is not identified as a target cluster, each of these clusters highlyincorporates supply chain and TDL. This is a reminder of why this work is critical to the region’s economy and thedevelopment of Southeast Michigan, Northwest Ohio and Southwest Ontario as a supply chain hub.Dec. 1, 2011 – March 1, 2012 15

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