With logistics, distribution and warehousing on the rise in the East Texas economy, industry representatives met with Kilgore College officials July 27 to discuss training requirements for current and prospective students.
Representatives at the meeting stated several needs for education and training for current employees and encouraged new courses at KC to cultivate current employee skills.
Specific skills mentioned included: problem solving, occupational safety, computer information technology, mathematics and equipment operations.
“Kilgore College strives to keep its education and training opportunities relevant to the demands of the service area workforce,” said Dr. Brenda Kays, KC president. “We’ve learned that warehousing and distribution centers are becoming increasingly automated and are utilizing Warehouse Management Systems and RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technologies. This knowledge will continue to shape our curricular offerings.”
Business leaders at the meeting also encouraged KC to offer dual credit courses in logistics and distribution so high school students will have an “on-ramp” to pursue a career in the industry.
Although the most common dual credit courses offered by KC are English, government and history, workforce training areas such as Automotive Technology, Culinary Arts and Welding Technology have seen an increase.
“We embrace any and all feedback we receive about the needs of our area employers,” Kays said. “Dual credit courses in logistics and distribution are definitely on the horizon as we talk about meeting our students’ and local employers’ needs.”
Companies and organizations represented at the meeting were City of Kilgore, Cleveland Steel, Fastenal, Kilgore Economic Development Corporation, Longview Chamber of Commerce, Longview Economic Development Corporation, Neiman Marcus, Orgill, Inc., Pak-Sher, Sysco and Tractor Supply Co.
“As our part of Texas sees more and more distribution centers moving to our area, I’m looking forward to working with the logistics and distribution employers to help them with their training needs,” said Dr. Julie Fowler, dean of business/computer science and executive dean of KC-Longview.