Sharon Rice, APICS E&R Foundation Executive Director
| Apr 04, 2014
When you read this post, I will be on my way to Mumbai, India for the 3rd annual APICS Asia Supply Chain & Operations Conference, April 4– 5. Traveling and working in India is a privilege that comes with my job. It also comes with much responsibility for APICS.
As Western nation workforces continue to age, BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) stand out based on their potential to fill labor gaps. BRICS represent 45 percent of the world’s workforce. But, in the case of India, access to and outcomes of education remain a serious problem. Gaps and shortages in skills, especially related to manufacturing, are impacting growth. When I travel to India and hear stories, I am reminded of the important role professional education can play in filling the gaps. There are many APICS Certified in Production and Inventory Management (CPIM) designees who credit obtaining the credential as being a pivotal career turning point. Many of these individuals do not have degrees, but the CPIM validates their operations management knowledge.
A little more than 40 years ago, the United Negro College Fund in the United States ran a campaign under the slogan, “A mind is a terrible thing to waste.” It was a very impactful message. Also, it reminds me, even today, of what a great responsibility it is to be involved in workforce development. It is not only about meeting the needs of corporations and spurring economic growth. It is about providing opportunities for individuals to improve their lives through productive and rewarding employment.
APICS in India
APICS also has unfilled potential in countries such as India. We have a contribution to make. This is why APICS CEO Abe Eshkenazi is so passionate about workforce development. During the opening session for the Asia Supply Chain & Operations Conference, Abe will share his thoughts and aspirations about the role APICS can play as a partner in India. He will lead a discussion with panelists and participants on how we can all work together to make a difference. Abe and I both hope to gain insights into how APICS and the APICS Educational & Research Foundation can make a positive contribution to workforce development in India.
What role do you think APICS can and should play in workforce development around the world? How can APICS be more impactful?