APICS addresses talent shortage through expanded supply chain stem program

K-12 program teaches supply chain concepts with interactive games, provides resources for teachers and parents

By ·

In an effort to further promote the advantages of a career in supply chain management, APICs has boldly announced the launch of a new expanded Supply Chain STEM Educational Outreach Program aimed at K-12 students.

According to APICS, the first effort will be introduce these young people to the concept of supply chain by using simple examples before delving into the full complexity of the industry.

APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi, told SCMR in an interview that one example of this will be “The Lemonade Activity (K-5)” designed to introduce students to four key areas of supply chain – source, make, deliver, and reuse/recycle – through an interactive and fun lemonade stand game.

“With something as basic as this exercise, we’ll be just starting to demonstrate the importance of supply chain management, and highlight promising career paths within the industry,” he says.

This latest investment will extend the reach of the program to more than 100,000 students by 2020, advancing APICS’s mission to combat the global shortage of supply chain talent. Similar efforts will be made with these programs:

  • The Paper Airplane Activity (middle school) combines STEM and supply chain concepts such as prototype design and mass production with realistic industry manufacturing experiences by having students design, engineer and test paper airplanes.
  • The Cell Phone Game (high school) teaches supply and demand strategies, and explores the relationship between modes of transportation, cost, and lead time as students take on various supply chain roles within their team.
  • The LEGO Booth Activity (middle & high school) engages students one-on-one at science or career fairs as they design, test-drive, and assess the performance of a LEGO car. 

Cheryl Dalsin, APICS director of academic outreach and founder of the Supply Chain STEM Educational Outreach Program, and a small team from Intel partnered with supply chain professionals from MIT, Michigan State University, and Arizona State University to develop and pilot interactive STEM activities for over 600 students in the Phoenix area. Six years ago.

With continuous increase in demand and the help of volunteers, Dalsin and her partners grew the program internationally, reaching 15,000 students in five years. APICS recognized that Dalsin’s work aligned directly with its efforts to support and develop student talent, and brought her on board in 2016 to lead the initiative, forming the Supply Chain STEM Educational Outreach Program.  

“Sixty million baby boomers will leave the workforce by 2025, while only forty million millennials will enter it in their place,” says Eshkenazi. “It is vital for us to get the word out at the earliest stages of educational development.”

Eshkenazi also had praise for organizations that are promoting diversity in the industry…particularly women.

“Supply chain management and logistics careers offer graduating college candidates with a ‘fast track’ toward advancement,” he says. “This is true in almost every case barring engineering, perhaps. We want young business majors to consider our industry before moving on directly to other sectors that do not offer the same opportunities for growth and compensation.”


About the Author

Patrick Burnson, Executive Editor
Patrick Burnson is executive editor for Logistics Management and Supply Chain Management Review magazines and web sites. Patrick is a widely-published writer and editor who has spent most of his career covering international trade, global logistics, and supply chain management. He lives and works in San Francisco, providing readers with a Pacific Rim perspective on industry trends and forecasts. You can reach him directly at [email protected]

Subscribe to Modern Materials Handling Magazine!

Subscribe today. It's FREE!
Find out what the world’s most innovative companies are doing to improve productivity in their plants and distribution centers.
Start your FREE subscription today!

Latest Whitepaper
Corrugated Boxes Deliver for E-Commerce
Corrugated box can and should be thought of as one of the key technologies for e-commerce-era fulfillment.
Download Today!
From the January 2018 Modern Materials Handling Issue
PFS built one of the largest and most automated AS/RS freezers in the world in Washington state. Next up is a new design for automation. Automated Storage/ Automated Retrieval System, Cold Storage.
Lift Truck Series Part 1: Lift truck technology connects pickers to productivity
Breaking Through On Yard Visibility
View More From this Issue
Subscribe to Our Email Newsletter
Sign up today to receive our FREE, weekly email newsletter!
Latest Webcast
Emerging Technologies for Your Distribution Center
Come get an insider's view of the latest technologies for inside your Distribution Center. You'll learn which technologies are being piloted, which are having success and moving from concept to implementation and into production on the maturity scale, and what's coming on the horizon.
Register Today!
EDITORS' PICKS
Trinchero Family Estates: Pallet handling in the vineyard
The second-largest family-owned wine company in the world turns to automated pallet handling and...
System Report: Rocky Brands Sees the Light
Confronting an aging materials handling system and new channels of business with new customer...

Top 20 industrial lift truck suppliers, 2017
The top lift truck suppliers list is changing with industry acquisitions causing a dramatic...
Lodge Manufacturing: Distribution Cast in Iron
In a new facility, iPhones and a new WMS allowed cookware manufacturer Lodge to double its business...