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State director speaks on importance of a workforce trained in logistics

POSTED: August 7, 2014 3:45 p.m.

Page Siplon

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There is a major shortage of people being trained in logistics in an age where technology is changing the world of manufacturing.

Page Siplon, executive director of the Georgia Centers of Innovation, spoke Tuesday about the impact of falling behind in logistics is having in nation. Siplon also discussed other changes in the manufacturing industry that’ll shape the future during the First Tuesday Luncheon hosted by the Barrow County Chamber of Commerce.

The number of people trained each year in logistics is only meeting 20 percent of the demand for a projected 1 million jobs that’ll be available in 2016. Logistics involves a wide array of jobs ranging from working in warehouses to computer engineering.

"We are significantly off on the amount of jobs and number of people trained in logistics," Siplon said.

There needs to be more emphasis on making middle school students aware of logistics. One of the issues is that people aren’t raising their children to be truck drivers, which is a job that pays well and involves logistics, he said.

"That’s a perspective change we need to make," Siplon said. "We need to be creative in how we shape that workforce."

Logistics has become more critical for any business since technology is changing how people are buying products. Currently, around 91 percent of purchases are being made at a store but within five years that’s estimated to drop to 76 percent.

"That’s changing the demand and now the question is how are you going to satisfy them as customers?" Siplon said.

He also touched on how the impact the Savannah Port, which is the fastest growing port in the world, will have in Georgia. An additional six feet of depth at the harbor will allow for larger ships to bring cargo.

The U.S. will have a projected $4 trillion in losses to the GDP by 2016 due to a lack of investments in infrastructure.

"We need to be prepared for that infrastructure," Siplon said about the port.

One of the latest innovations that’ll have a major impact on manufacturing is 3-D printing. One example is a company testing out building concrete homes at $5,000 each through 3-D printing.

"It’s homes, it’s automatic weapons, it’s food," Siplon said about the products that can be made via 3-D printing.



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