VETs To WERC Campaign Helping Veterans Into Supply Chain Jobs

How will the supply chain industry remedy a looming labor shortage as Baby Boomers in the sector retire? It will turn to U.S. military veterans.

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TRENTON, N.J. — How will the supply chain industry remedy a looming labor shortage as Baby Boomers in the sector retire? It will turn to U.S. military veterans. 

Industry pundits predict that at least 270,000 supply chain-related jobs will need to be filled each year as a wave of Baby Boomers hits retirement age. To help resolve the shortfall, Thomas Edison State University’s Operation College Promise (OCP) is collaborating with Legacy Supply Chain Services, multimedia publisher DC Velocity and the national Warehousing Education and Research Council (WERC) who have launched a public awareness campaign, “VETS To WERC,” to attract military veterans to the industry.

‘The occupational demands of the supply chain field correspond well with the skillset of many of our military veterans,” said Wendy Lang, director of OCP at the University. “The U.S. military wrote the book on supply chain management, so the alignment of available jobs in this industry with the existing capabilities of many of our veteran service members will be central to this campaign.”

The “VETS To WERC” campaign was showcased to 450 companies during WERC’s 39th Annual Industry Conference at the Rhode Island Convention center on May 15 – 18. Lang and others addressed more than 1,000 conference attendees on the ways that hiring military veterans can be good for business. Rhode Island Senator Jack Reed remarked, “Nearly 500 companies, from Rhode Island and throughout the country, obtained the knowledge and resources to recruit, employ and retain qualified military veterans.” 

Lang was on hand to link employers and veterans with support services through the many partnerships that OCP has forged to optimize veterans’ reintegration to civilian life. “The road to transition is different for every veteran and, for this reason OCP takes a holistic approach to facilitating a smooth journey from the military to the civilian sector,” she said. “We are excited to be able to be a resource for WERC employers and employees.”

Edmund E. Hunt, director of sales for The Gilbert Company, retail supply chain specialists with facilities in Keasbey, N.J., witnesses the value military veterans bring to his industry every day. “We continuously seek to groom or inject new talent across all positions and functions of our organization,” he noted. “The current and future staffing needs of our company and the entire logistics industry align with and rely upon the existing skills of this valuable segment of our workforce.”

For more information on the Warehousing Education and Research Council’s "VETS To WERC" campaign and related events, visit http://www.werc.org/vetstowerc/.

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