By Lookout Staff
July 18 -- Santa Monica College will play a growing
role in aiding the flow of goods and people thanks to $865,00
in grants to train workers in transportation and logistics.
Awarded by the California Community Colleges' Chancellor's
Office, the two State grants will help the college develop
a program to train Westside transit workers in hybrid technology
and related skills and Southland employees in the movement
of goods and services, a rapidly growing field known as logistics.
"SMC is claiming its stake in the logistics and transit
industries," said Chito Cajayon, acting dean of workforce
development. "Up and down the state, there are only about
five or six community colleges that can equal us."
The $437,500 "advanced transportation" grant will
boost the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Culver City Transit
Line’s efforts to use more alternative-fuel buses, College
The grant will be used to train technicians and managers
at the in hybrid technology, alternative fuels and related
fields as the two bus companies, officials said.
"SMC is committed to truly serving the training needs
of our local business and industries such as the Big Blue
Bus and the Culver City Bus Lines," said Marvin Martinez,
SMC’s vice president of Planning and Development. "Our
goal is to assist those agencies in improving their services
The $427,500 logistics grant will provide training in such
areas as “intelligent systems, project management, quality
improvement processes, global-level business practices and
product/inventory control,” college officials said.
Training will be provided to Nippon Express of El Segundo,
Eagle Global Logistics of Torrance, and Performance Team 3PL,
with facilities in Compton, Carson and San Pedro.
The grants will be used based on the participating companies'
needs, and all training will be provided at the companies'
The grant for logistics training comes on the heals of a
$600,000 State grant the college received last year to train
525 workers, many of whom were facing layoffs in the declining
The workers were trained in positions in the logistics field
that ranged from skip loaders to managers. It also helped
those currently in the logistics field to upgrade their skills.
SMC trained employees at companies such as Sky Chefs, which
provides food service to commercial airlines, in areas such
as “quality improvement techniques, computer training,
import/export procedures and project management,” college
In addition, SMC is in the process of developing a logistics
major through its Business Department and will offer its first
course -- Principles of Logistics -- this fall.
Logistics is the second largest employment sector in the
U.S. and is forecast to continue to grow, according to industry
professionals. Organizations spend nearly $800 billion a year
on logistics in the U.S., and worldwide, more than $1.4 trillion
is spent annually.
Jobs in logistics range from relatively unskilled positions,
such as truck drivers, to sophisticated management posts that
include inventory control, production and warehouse operations.
Industry officials say the field is particularly rich in offering
new management opportunities.