What if students could have both a theoretical and practical understanding of supply chains? Whatever device you are reading this newsletter on, it didn’t drop into your lap magically from an elf’s shop. It was delivered to you through a long, complicated supply chain. Your tablet, computer or phone’s many parts were manufactured in a wide variety of places. Those various components were delivered to a location for final assembly. Eventually the tablet was shipped to a store or warehouse and eventually into your loving hands. In recent years, new technology and processes have been introduced into the supply chain. But all you know is, yeah, I can read The Chain, thanks to this device.
Students around Washington state are enrolled in courses studying supply chain so they can one day be part of the complicated and amazing process that brings us food, products and pleasures every day. Our new Follow the Supply Chain Study Abroad program aims to add a practical, hands-on opportunity to examine the supply chain up close, both here in Washington state and at an international destination.
Students will travel within Washington and to an international destination to learn first-hand how products are planned, sourced, made, delivered, and returned. Students will visit a warehouse here in Washington state but also a processing plant in China, Vietnam or Japan. They will examine shippers, logistics companies, customs brokers and more.
Participating colleges—so far, Highline College, Wenatchee Valley College, Tacoma Community College and North Seattle College—are arranging for professors to make the Study Abroad program a project for their classes. Participating students will be graded for credit as part of the classes.
Less than 2 percent of students in Washington participate in study abroad programs (mostly from wealthy backgrounds), despite the fact Washington’s economy is more internationally-tied than any other in the country. To ensure participation of students with geographical, ethnic and socio-economic diversity, we are raising funds from private sources to subsidize the cost of the trip. This way the cost for students will only be $500 per student, enough to have skin in the game, but not too costly to prevent students from many walks of life to be able to participate. A big shout out to our first sponsor, Lynden Logistics, Inc. If you are interested in sponsoring or know of someone who might be interested, please send me an email or give me a call at 206.592.4838.
As you see below in Spencer Cohen’s article on the economic analysis of the global trade and supply chain sector, there are 94,000 people working in this sector in Washington state. There is a large demand for workers and we aim to provide ones with both a theoretical and practical grounding in the supply chain.