The National Center for Supply Chain Automation (SCA) leadership team includes Norco College (lead college in Norco, CA); Sinclair Community College (Dayton, OH); Oakton Community College (Des Plaines, IL); and Central Piedmont Community College (Charlotte, NC).

A Supply Chain Technician is a person who installs, operates, supports, upgrades or maintains the automated material handling equipment and systems that support the supply chain.  The supply chain encompasses literally every commercial enterprise with a tangible product to move, store or deliver.  The National Center for Supply Chain Automation (SCA) informs the public and increases the visibility of this high-growth career opportunity that is so crucial to so many different industries.

Labor market data indicates that there will be some 770,000 job openings throughout the US for supply chain technicians 2015-2025.  Starting wages for technicians can be as high as $17-$25 per hour ($35,000-$52,000 annually) and with advanced work experience, technicians can earn as much as $42 per hour ($87,000 annually).

SCA’s mission is to increase the number of highly-qualified supply chain technicians in the workforce by helping educational institutions across the US establish programs that train supply chain technicians.  We accomplish this by providing valuable instructional resources and technical assistance at no cost.

SCA’s resources include an e-Textbook titled Introduction to the Automated Warehouse, the essential foundational text for the Supply Chain Technician of the 21st century.  The text acquaints the reader with all of the skill sets supply chain technicians must possess to be successful in an automated warehouse and utilizes videos, puzzles, games, illustrations, and interactive widgets to vividly engage the reader while delivering the material in a way that is fun and easy-to-understand.

SCA recognizes the critical importance of industry-education partnerships in developing a supply chain technician workforce that possesses the skills that industry needs.  In support of these partnerships, SCA convenes these stakeholders in targeted locales and educates them on all the ways they can collaborate to support the development of a highly-skilled supply chain technician workforce.  It is our goal that these relationships continue and strengthen after SCA’s initial involvement.

Industry certifications represent the gold standard for validating the competencies of technician education.  The National Center has partnered with the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC) and the Material Handling Industry Association (MHI) to establish a certification for the occupation of supply chain technician.   The title of the certification is proposed to be Certified Technician in Supply Chain Automation.

Key activities include:

  • Supporting the establishment of supply chain automation pathways in educational institutions throughout the US to increase the number of highly-skilled supply chain technicians to meet the growing national demand
  • Convening Industry-Education Workforce Development Forums in targeted locales to facilitate the development of partnerships between education and industry and to increase the number of students who become successfully employed as supply chain technicians
  • Convening supply chain automation stakeholders annually via a National Symposium event to enhance collaboration and deliver provide professional development
  • Establishing and promoting a national industry certification in supply chain automation and
  • Disseminating supply chain automation information and resources to a variety of audiences

ATE Award Metadata

Award Number
0802394, 1104176, 1601452
Funding Status
ATE Start Date
July 1st, 2008
ATE Expiration Date
September 30th, 2023
ATE Principal Investigator
Valorie Piper
Primary Institution
Riverside Community College District / Norco Campus
Record Type
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