A U.S. Department of Labor grant awarded to Highline Community College’s Center of Excellence for International Trade, Transportation and Logistics is targeting one of Washington’s strongest – and relatively unknown – sectors.

“As an industry, supply chain management involves many different types of business processes,” said Allison Clark, economic development manager for the college. “Because of that, I think many people don’t realize it exists, or know about how many great job opportunities there are in this area.” According to a 2008 study conducted by Port Jobs, a Seattle-based nonprofit organization which publishes international trade policy and industry research, public knowledge of the industry is limited, and educational and training options available at area colleges and technical schools are relatively new.

Through this initiative, the center is reaching out to businesses, schools, and other organizations throughout King and Pierce Counties in an effort to increase public awareness of the supply chain management sector and build a more competitive work force. The effort includes appearances at various career fairs as well as visits to regional high schools and community colleges.

One goal of the project is to deepen and expand relationships with industry partners throughout the region, especially with large employers and supply chain management and logistics firms. The objective is to establish clear and relevant educational and employment pathways for individuals looking to start or switch careers.

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