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Logistics careers highlighted at Advisory Dinner

Logistics careers highlighted at MCVTS Advisory Committee Dinner

More than 200 people attending the annual Advisory Committee Appreciation Dinner of the Middlesex County Vocational and Technical Schools were given an introduction into the potential of the field of logistics to provide lucrative careers.

After MCVTS Superintendent of Schools Brian J. Loughlin outlined plans to institute a new major in global logistics and supply chain management in the fall, William McLaury, a Rutgers professor who spent 30 years working in the field, said the supply of qualified applicants is not meeting the needs of the industry.

“Any organization that offers a product or a service has a supply chain,” he said. “That’s in every country everywhere in the world.”

McLaury said the need for trained personnel applies to organizations large and small, public or private, profit-making or nonprofit. The supply chain connects manufacturers, suppliers, distributors and customers, with a need for employees to “manage a network of independent trading partners,” he said.

Transportation, distribution and logistics constitutes 8 percent of the U.S. economy, he said, with 370,000 workers in the field in New Jersey alone.

“Every one of these areas has job opportunities,” he said. “Supply chain management has evolved into a highly skilled profession, and innovation is occurring at a very rapid pace.”

McLaury said the pool of qualified employees has not kept pace with demand, adding that the Rutgers School of Business has a 100 percent job placement record for its majors in the field.

MCVTS has announced plans to begin the new career major in logistics and supply chain management in September on its Piscataway Campus. A committee of industry and academic advisors has been formed to guide the effort.

The Annual Advisory Committee Appreciation Dinner, held April 26 on the Piscataway Campus, brought together professionals who lend their expertise to keep teachers in the various career majors abreast of changes in business, industry and service professions.

“The advisory committees are essential to the continuation of our cutting-edge curriculum,” said Sean McDonald, MCVTS director of career and technical education.

The district’s annual business partner of the year award was presented to McCarter Theatre of Princeton, which collaborates with the MCVTS School of the Arts on the East Brunswick Campus.

Loughlin, who has announced his retirement at the end of the school year after seven years as superintendent and 40 years in the district, said MCVTS also is expanding its health careers program, looking to add opportunities for students to obtain internships and professional certifications, and has launched a major in arts technology, training students for behind-the-scenes careers in areas such as set design, sound and lighting.

“We’re training students, in some cases, for jobs that don’t exist yet,” he said.

Students from a number of MCVTS shops put on displays of their projects during a reception before the dinner, which was catered by MCVTS culinary and baking students. Woodbridge Academy sophomore Nawal Panjwani of Sayreville sang the national anthem.

Among those attending the dinner were Middlesex County Freeholder Charles Kenny, MCVTS Board of Education President John F. Bicsko and County Executive Superintendent of Schools Yasmin Hernandez-Manno.

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