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National Science Foundation (NSF)

Supply Chain Technology
National Science Foundation: National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education
(2011-2015)

The National Science Foundation awarded Norco College $3.5 million dollars over 4 years to establish the National Center for Supply Chain Technology Education (SCTE). In collaboration with community colleges and industry partners in more than 16 states, the SCTE will replicate model 2+2 pathways to train supply chain technicians for the logistics industry. Activities include increasing articulation agreements nationally, occupational research reports, faculty professional development and dissemination of best practices through our virtual center.

SCT Map 

Definition of a Supply Chain Technician

A person who installs, operates, supports, upgrades, or maintains the software, hardware, automated equipment and systems that support the supply chain.

The need for supply chain technicians

More than 11 million people (8.6 percent of the U.S. labor force) work in supply chain technology, and projections indicate that the industry will add an additional 969,000 jobs by 2030.While many four-year institutions offer logistics programs that lead to a baccalaureate degree, there are few two-year, hands-on programs in this field that lead to credentials.

Addressing the need

The Center will develop cutting edge two-year certificate programs that prepare students to operate and maintain advanced supply chain technologies.

Initiatives will include:

  • Developing strong partnerships across private and public sector supply chains (manufacturing, port operations, transportation, distribution, warehousing, and information technology.)
  • Implementing model supply chain technology programs nationwide through existing high school/community college partnerships.
  • Increasing faculty participation in supply chain technology professional development.
  • Disseminating supply chain technology education “best practices,” including standardized training materials.
  • Creating multiple career pathways by designing academic programs across the entire supply chain technology spectrum.
  • Moving students seamlessly from high school through community college to a four-year institution—and then into the workplace.

Broader Impacts

By developing career pathways for supply chain technicians, and meeting the industry need for this skilled workforce, the National Center for Excellence in Supply Chain Technology Education will address three critical issues:

  • Providing access to family-supporting jobs.
  • Supporting the U.S. Department of Defense as it seeks to replace the 54 percent of its employees (many of them working in supply chain and related distribution areas) retiring by 2015.
  • Increasing workforce diversity by recruiting underserved populations such as women, minorities, and veterans.

Center Implementation

The Center will be led by Norco College of the Riverside Community College District in California, which will partner with four other community colleges located along major national supply chain routes. Partner colleges include:

  • Oakton Community College, Des Plaines, Illinois
  • Sinclair Community College, Dayton, Ohio
  • Tacoma Community College, Tacoma, Washington
  • Houston Community College, Houston, Texas
  • Central Piedmont Community College, Charlotte, North Carolina

To learn more about the Center, visit www.supplychainteched.org.