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Logisticsprogram at Palo Alto College providing in-demand jobs

By Arlene Galindo | Pulse Staff Reporter

Logistics
Photo courtesy of Mitsubishi Logistics.

A career in Logistics Management ranks as one of the top 50 best jobs in the country. Palo Alto College is the only community college in the San Antonio area to offer classes for this sought after career.

Logistics is defined as the movement of supplies and materials from the manufacturer to the consumer, said Ronnie Brannon, Logistics lead instructor. His way of explaining Logistics when visiting local high schools is with an item we use every day.

“I like to tell them that the toothpaste that was used this morning wasn’t left there by the tooth fairy. The product starts out as raw materials in a manufacturing plant, then is processed and put into a little tube…put into bigger boxes, and that company ships those boxes to your Wal-Marts and Targets,” said Brannon.

He also said once the product is purchased and then scanned over the counter, all the information is then returned into an automated system. The automated system indicates whether more products need to be shipped and “that’s all part of Logistics,” said Brannon.

Since this fall semester began, the Logistics Management program increased in student enrollment by 20 percent within two years, said Brannon. The program currently has 130 students enrolled, but there is room for growth.

Michael Salas, Logistic Management alumni, said when he first entered the Logistics program, it was in its early stages.  What he gained from the program was the knowledge of “learning the ins and outs” of what it takes to be in the Logistics field.

The programs’ advisory consists of H-E-B, Southwest Research, Union Pacific, U.P.S., U.S. Army, The Allen Lund Transportation, Air Force, and B Trucking.

The Logistics program offers an associate’s degree in Logistics and Supply Chain Management and five Level 1 certificates, which can be earned while working toward an associate’s degree. The Level 1 certificate includes International Logistics Management, Logistics Management, Manufacturing Management, Transportation Management, and Warehouse Management.

Like many of the Logistics students in the program, Salas earned four of the five Level 1 certificates during his years at Palo Alto College before earning his associate's degree in May 2010.

Ron Melton, a sophomore Logistics major said, “The Logistics program has a big array of job positions. You could go on the transportation side, warehouse jobs, and inventory side. I mean everything you do in life is Logistics. You can apply that anywhere in the world.”

Melton will be one of the many students in demand after graduating, said Brannon. His Air Force background puts him at a higher skill level for companies in search of logisticians.

Brannon emphasized future opportunities that will be available for students in the program. He said the Logistics program has recently established a Logistics Club called the Logistics Society, and their goal is to have the community of students be a part of the program so students can be aware of the wide range of career opportunities that are offered.

If you’re interested in a career as a logistician, contact Ronnie Brannon at (210) 486-3087 or visit his office located in San Marcos Hall, Room 107 E.