Supply Chain Group Makes Annual Meeting a Vets Showcase

At its annual meeting this week, the Warehousing Education and Research Council launched a new program to encourage veterans to join the logistics industry, where those with military experience may already have the skills needed to succeed.

The supply-chain industry needs new workers—a lot of them. Veterans leaving the armed forces need jobs—ones that take advantage of the unique skills gained during a military career.

Sounds like an opportunity.

The Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC), an association focused on supply-chain and logistics issues, announced “VETS to WERC,” a new effort to help offset the large number of openings in the industry by specifically targeting veterans.

The awareness campaign, launched at WERC’s annual meeting this week, was created in collaboration with logistics provider Legacy Supply Chain Services as well as supply-chain publication DC Velocity.

“We look forward to making ‘VETS to WERC’ a part of our annual conference programing,” WERC CEO Michael Mikitka said in a news release.

While the unemployment rate among vets has fallen in recent years (to 5.8 percent in 2015, an improvement on the 7.2 rate in 2014), it remains above the national average, which stood at 5 percent in April, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With roughly 200,000 veterans entering the workforce each year, there’s always a need for jobs.

And vets are particularly well-suited to supply-chain issues. Lt. Col. Brian Gilman, who serves as the director of national organizations and interagency collaboration for the Chairman’s Office of Reintegration, Office of the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, told DC Velocity that military employees often get firsthand experience with logistics during tours of duty.

“Regardless of rank or position, everyone in the military has had some interaction and understanding of supply chain and logistics,” Gilman, who spoke at the WERC event, explained.

Legacy CEO Ron Cain said that government officials’ involvement at the meeting to promote the campaign “underscores its importance” as a tool for job creation and training.

“At Legacy, we take immense pride in our culture of giving back and making a difference and this campaign reinforces our commitment,” Cain said in the news release. “We hope ‘VETS To WERC’ provides an important piece of the ‘supply chain shortage’ puzzle in our industry.”


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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