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Job Prospects

  • Abe Eshkenazi

Supply Chain Management Now

CNBC this week features a story highlighting manufacturing challenges in the United States. “Solving Manufacturers’ Jobs Dilemma” focuses on manufacturing jobs left open, despite high numbers of unemployed workers, because managers can’t find workers with the skills needed to fill the open jobs—the so-called “skills gap.”

Experts debate about the actual number of open jobs due to the skills gap. In 2012, Boston Consulting Group reported there were 80,000 available manufacturing jobs unable to be filled because of lack of candidate training. Yet, a 2011 study by Deloitte and the Manufacturing Institute asserts there could be as many as 600,000 of these open jobs.

“Building a skilled workforce after decades of erosion in an industry is not easy,” CNBC reports. “From 1960 through 2012, the number of Americans working in the textile and apparel industries dropped 83 percent to 166,000 from 1.2 million, according to the Manufacturing Institute.”

The CNBC article highlights The Makers Coalition, a Minnesota partnership between the Dunwoody College of Technology and area manufacturers. The partnership’s goal is to teach people industrial sewing skills and promote the trade. Once unemployed or underemployed, the students find well-paying jobs with room for advancement.

While The Makers Coalition matches workers with sewing jobs, the skills gap exists across multiple industries and employment levels within manufacturing. Despite this variety, the solution across the board involves education. Therefore, I was pleased this week to see a software blog from Software Advice that features the story “3 Supply Chain Certifications that Will Land You a Job.” The APICS Certified Supply Chain Professional (CSCP) features prominently.

The post quotes Monty Boyle, CPIM, CIRM, CSCP, a common process deployment specialist for BP and a consultant. The CSCP “teaches you to look at the supply chain from a broad perspective; to view the relations between the areas of planning, sourcing, manufacturing, and delivering and see how the overall supply chain integrates.”

Investing in your education

What are you willing to invest to change your career and your life? Data from the APICS Operations Management Employment Outlook show that workers with the APICS CSCP credential earn on average 21 percent more than peers who don’t hold the credential. Further, 62.6 percent of APICS CSCP designees believe their certification had a positive impact on their hiring potential.

The experts interviewed for the blog post agree: Certifications, such as the APICS CSCP, set you apart from job competition. “Employers want to have managers that not only have an understating of the function they’re responsible for, but for how their processes interact with other functional processes and organizations,” said Rich Sherman, a consultant and author.

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  1. Sébastien Bousquet, CPIM, CSCP January 20, 2014, 10:58 AM
    The first thing I did when I learned my employer reimburses tuition is register for the CPIM courses. I completed them in order in less than two years then registered for the CSCP.
    I now have both certifications and since then got promoted with a +-10% salary raise.

    Having an employer who encourages colleagues to study is a good motivator. I am now studying to obtain one more certificate: CCLP.

    I work in transportation and the APICS courses really reminds someone that all departments are interrelated. You need to determine the impact on all departments before making decisions.


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