By Brian Villalba
The Department of Labor awarded $3 million to the Computer Applications and Office Technologies Department.
The DOL grant is specifically targeting the expansion of the Technology and Logistics Program. The program has a 97 percent pass rate for the national certification exam. The national average is 77 percent.
The Technology and Logistics Program is successful in placing students into jobs. Chair of the CAOT department Elaine Y. Shibata said, “We have more jobs to fill than students.” Dennis Garcia, CAOT professor said, “You can’t outsource logistics.”
The Technology and Logistics program has been awarded grants before. The last DOL grant was issued in March 2010, totalling more than $900,000. The previous grant was used to create the current Technology and Logistics Program.
The 2012 DOL grant will be used to expand the program’s services to include a coach for each student, which is expected to improve student success further. Garcia said, “Those who stick with the program almost always pass (the national certification exam).”
The spring 2013 semester will be the first semester that an associate degree in Technology and Logistics will be available as a result of the 2012 DOL grant. The grant will also be used to track and study the progress of the program.
WestEd, a non-profit research agency, will be tracking each student’s progress. The findings of that research, compiled from the ELAC Technology and Logistics program, will be used as a model for other educational institutions to learn from. UPS is the most common employer of graduates of the Technology and Logistics Program. Shibata said, “UPS is the third largest employer in the country.”
Students have taken field trips to the Port of Los Angeles and Port of Long Beach. Garcia said, “If you combine the two (Los Angeles and Long Beach), we have the seventh busiest port in the world.”
The Technology and Logistics Program focuses on skills that are used in many different sectors of business. The program has had students in a variety of industries, from UPS and FedEx, to wedding planning. The Technology and Logistics program is focusing on supporting veterans.
Elan Andre Vergara, who completed the Technology and Logistics program after two tours of duty in Iraq, is currently being fast-tracked to be an assistant supervisor at UPS. He has certifications as Certified Logistics Associate and a Certified Logistics Technician.
The Technology and Logistics Program graduates are having success finding jobs after their certification due to the growth in the industry. Garcia said, “Third Party Logistics businesses are kind of recession proof.”
Third Party Logistics is provided by a company like UPS when they deliver items that are purchased on sites like Amazon.com. Shibata said, “UPS had four to five times growth as a result of Amazon.com.”
The Technology and Logistics Program prepares students for what they will face on the job. The Program is growing during a long economic recovery.
Garcia said, “It is an employer’s market now.”