Our Workforce division and Center of Innovation for Logistics joined forces with the Coastal Workforce Investment Board and Savannah Technical College to launch the Fast Track Coastal Initiative, an 8-week accelerated certificate program that prepares students for jobs within the state’s logistics industry.
Students are already in their third week of classes, which began Feb. 17th at Savannah Tech. The program combines four weeks of classroom instruction with four weeks of hands-on safety and operational skills practice in a “Living-Lab” warehouse environment.
“The Fast Track Coastal Initiative is an excellent example of the innovative workforce development efforts taking place across the state,” said Deputy Commissioner for Workforce Ben Hames. “Pilot programs like this one hold real promise and will help foster the highly skilled workforce that Georgia’s growing companies need.”
More than 50 warehousing companies and logistics suppliers from around Coastal Georgia – including The Home Depot, Nordic, Coastal Logistics Group, Dollar Tree, and American Crating & Packing – partnered on the initiative to design a customized training program that offers the best equipment, facilities and curriculum in logistics.
The Living Lab, sponsored by Schneider Logistics, is a crucial aspect of the program, providing students the hands-on training companies and industries need for a successful workforce. In the lab, students learn an array of skills from operating and driving forklifts to carpentry and packing techniques.
At the end of the 8-week course, they will receive a Certified Logistics Associate certification and will have the option to test for the Certified Logistics Technician certification – both of which are recognized and respected throughout the national warehousing and logistics industries. Each student is also guaranteed two job interviews with two of the partnering companies.
“It’s really a win-win for our state because the program benefits our students, it benefits our logistics companies, and it ultimately benefits our economy,” said Jannine Miller, director of the Center of Innovation for Logistics. “We anticipate major growth to continue within Georgia’s logistics industry – especially with the continued growth of the Port of Savannah.”
“Through this program, we are seeking to address the employment needs in Georgia’s coastal region while securing a trained workforce in the growing logistics industry,” said Executive Director of Coastal Workforce Services Odie Donald.
The program is already garnering a lot of interest and has more than 60 participants on a wait-list. Donald hopes the program will expand to other colleges and become a model for other logistics programs.