Tempe-based Institute for Supply Management® (ISM®) and New York-based ThomasNet.com® have joined forces to address a looming shortage of management professionals in the industry, which depends on a new pipeline of talent from the Millennial (18-32) generation to maintain its strength.
“Purchasing and supply chain management are among the most strategic careers in the global economy of the 21st century,” said Tom Derry, chief executive officer of ISM. “Every day, supply chain professionals’ decisions affect their companies’ brands, competitive positioning and bottom-line performance. The people in these positions have a direct impact on our economic vitality.”
“This is a pivotal moment for the supply chain profession,” said Mark Holst-Knudsen, president of ThomasNet. “Baby Boomers are retiring and carrying their knowledge and skills out the door. Now is the time to attract and engage Millennials to take their place. In just 11 years, this generation will represent about 75 percent of the work force.”
The organizations noted that, although supply chain programs in colleges and universities are increasing, many Millennials are still unaware of the opportunities the profession offers. “We need to inject the ‘cool factor’ into this industry, which provides a rewarding career, great pay, and the ability to make a difference in people’s lives,” said Derry. “Many of these jobs are also perfect for Millennials who want to advance their personal values, such as sustainability and corporate social responsibility,” he adds.
To call attention to these opportunities, the organizations recently launched a first-of-its-kind initiative honoring supply chain’s young “rock stars.” The new “30 Under 30 Rising Supply Chain Stars” recognition program will honor 30 professionals from the U.S. and Canada whose initiative, collaboration, innovation and/or leadership have led to notable accomplishments. Nominees’ contributions to their companies, professional associations and the industry at large will all be considered. All nominees must be 30 or younger as of December 31, 2014.
“We’re encouraging individuals who have built rewarding supply chain careers to help ensure their industry’s continued vibrancy, and nominate a deserving candidate. We also welcome self-nominations from Millennials,” says Holst-Knudsen. The deadline for nominations is July 31.
For a local look at what’s happening in the manufacturing industry, please see the cover story in the June 2014 issue, “Arizona Manufacturing: Its Success Is Economic Prosperity.”