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Comments on Chris Elliott's Logistics Talent article

By Herb Shields | 10/07/2014 | 7:31 AM

If you have not read Chris Elliott’s article in the September issue of DC Velocity, you missed some great insights into how to hire and retain young people as they enter the supply chain world to pursue a career.  As an educator and advisor to students at the Illinois Institute of Technology, I found Chris’s article to be right on target.

Unless a student has had a “real” job or internship, they are going to need help from their employer in getting started.  As Chris points out, today’s young people have very different ideas about the balance between work and life activities.  I coach students to manage their expectations because the reality is they are not in control of the workplace environment.  If they are going to succeed, it is in their best interest to meet or exceed their company’s expectations.

Interestingly, when we asked our Advisory Board of business owners at IIT, what skills our students lacked, the “soft skills” are what got the most votes.  In our supply chain program we provide opportunities for students to work in teams and do formal presentations.  Most of them do not enjoy doing presentations at first, but it is a critical skill that they will use in almost every supply chain job – even at the entry level.

In the article, Chris suggests that company’s need to provide feedback to new hires.  At IIT, we also follow up with students once they enter the workplace.  We think that the educators can work with employers to give the new hire every chance for success.



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The opinions expressed herein are those solely of the participants, and do not necessarily represent the views of Agile Business Media, LLC., its properties or its employees.

About Herb Shields

Herb Shields

Herb Shields has run Chicago-based HCS Consulting since 2000, helping clients across multiple industries and in higher education improve their supply chain strategy and execution. Shields has more than 30 years as an operations executive for capital equipment, automotive, electrical machinery and consumer products companies. As vice president of materials management at consumer goods company Helene Curtis, Shields led the supply chain organization that helped Helene Curtis win "Vendor of the Year" awards from Wal-Mart Stores and Target Corp. Shields has a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Clarkson University and did graduate work in business at Bowling Green State University.


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