Logistics Engineering Technology Work Study (LETWS)
An increasing demand in the nation's supply chain sector exists for highly-skilled workers to manage advanced technologies for operations management, tracking, inventory, and distribution of goods. To address this demand, Columbus State Community College (CSCC) will collaborate with universities, high schools, and regional employers to educate next-generation technicians to work in logistics industries. The project will expand CSCC's associate degree program in Logistics Engineering Technology (LET) to add a work study component with paid industrial learning experiences for students. New laboratory demonstrations will be developed and implemented in the curriculum to strengthen students' experience with the type of state-of-the art equipment used in the Central Ohio logistics industry. Thus, students will combine knowledge from classroom demonstrations with worksite applications so that they can move seamlessly into real work environments. The project will create a process for adult learners, particularly under-employed existing workers or military veterans, to formally recognize and apply previous training or experience toward the associate degree. Specific outreach to underserved and underrepresented groups will ensure that a diverse set of students are recruited and retained in the program. Summer programs will also be conducted to engage high school students in logistics technologies. This project will help build a diverse technician workforce in logistics engineering and strengthen this important high-growth sector of the nation's economy.
The LET curriculum will combine technology applications (e.g. programming, data mining, and simulation modeling) with engineering systems (e.g. automation systems, controls, stochastic processes, computer-aided design, electro-mechanical and industrial engineering), with supply chain principles. The intellectual merit contributions of the project will be creation of educational pathways that add: 1) A paid real-world experiential learning component that leverages a proven work study model and adapts it to the growing regional logistics industry. During students' second academic year in the program, they will take classes two days per week and learn on-the-job the remaining three days. 2) An innovative laboratory with an automated work cell to simulate a smart conveyer used in regional companies. The system will contain a flat belt conveyor and chip belt conveyer controlled by a mechanical drive learning system to give students experience installing, operating, and maintaining the technologies used in industry. 3) A bridge program to address the needs of adult learners, especially the unemployed, under-employed incumbent worker, and military veterans, and that includes assessments of prior learning, a formalized process to recognize past training, and learning modules to help reintegrate these learners into higher education. A Work-Study Summer Institute for high school seniors will also be created, in which participants earn a stipend during an intensive one-week introduction to logistics engineering technology. The project outcomes will be extensively evaluated and disseminated to a national audience for replication.