KMSB "Fox-11 Forum," Sunday, 7/11/10, 7:30 AM.

Posted: Updated:
By Bryce Potter By Bryce Potter

Host Bob Lee interviews Nils Urman, Project Manager for the Pima County One-Stop Career Center “Southern Arizona Logistics Training Initiative,” Miguel Valencia, Commodity Merchants Exchange and founding board member of SALEO (Southern Arizona Logistics Education Organization),and Alex V. Raptis, manager of Transportation Operations at The Chamberlain Group Inc. and a board member of SALEO. 

Thanks to a grant from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, logistics training is available locally to prepare students for jobs associated with the transportation and supply chain management industry.

Urman says southern Arizona is a hub of commerce and industry, with its international ports of entry, military contractors and railroad and trucking network, to name a few major fields.  He says that means there are thousands of jobs in the area that involve making sure products are ordered, stored and delivered at appropriate time.  It’s called “logistics,” he says, and because southern Arizona has so many jobs related to logistics and supply chain management and because relatively few workers in these areas have formal education or a strong understanding of the overall supply chain, Pima One Stop started its Logistics and Supply Chain Management Program in the fall of 2009.  He says two certificates and an associate degree are offered in partnership with Pima Community College, Arizona Western College and Cochise Community College.

Valencia and Raptis say the training will not only be helpful to people seeking a career or career change it will also help current logistics workers improve their skills and move up to more challenging and higher-paying jobs.  They both agree there is a significant need for more workers in this field. 

Urman saiys it is hoped that up to 180 students will graduate by the end of 2011.  He says with the U.S. Dept. of Labor grant, students enrolling now may qualify for funds to cover tuition, books and fees.