Community Column: Logistics field expected to grow in Texas

August 21, 2019

Dr. Robert Garza

Building partnerships with industry leaders and monitoring economic growth in our region has been integral to Palo Alto College's continued development of programs that support our community and provide career opportunities.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment opportunities in logistics in Texas is projected to grow over 15% by 2026 as a result of an increase in supply and demand of goods in our global economy.

At Palo Alto College, our Logistics and Supply Chain Management program is designed to prepare students for various careers in the logistics industry, including transportation, warehousing, distribution, inventory control, purchasing, and international logistics. Students can earn an associate degree and multiple certificates of completion that concentrate on logistics principles and best practices to solve various management-level obstacles in movement, storage, control, and information flow.

We want our students to be able to enter the workforce with hands-on experience, and we also want to provide support for students who want to continue their education. Beginning this fall, Palo Alto College students who earn an Associate of Applied Science in Logistics and Supply Chain Management will be able to transfer to Wayland Baptist University with up to 72 credit hours applied toward a Bachelor of Applied Science in Logistics.

In addition, our Logistics students will once again have the opportunity to showcase their skills at the annual Operation Stimulus Conference and Case Competition in Denver. It's the longest running Logistics student case study competition in North America. Competing against four-year universities from across the country, Palo Alto College students have continuously placed among the top teams as the only community college participating in the competition.

For younger students who are still in high school, we will continue our partnership with CAST STEM, part of the industry-led, career-themed high schools in San Antonio. It offers pathways for students at Southwest Independent School District that align with curriculum offered through Palo Alto College's Logistics program.

And later this year, through funding from Walmart and in collaboration with national nonprofit Education Design Lab, we will officially launch a new partnership program called Upskill SA!, a certificate-level Logistics pathway training program for employees at Goodwill Industries of San Antonio. The program will offer the education, training, and skills development Goodwill SA employees need for advancement opportunities within the logistics and supply chain management industry.

Serving as champions for community access has been part of Palo Alto College's core values, and we want to continue to offer opportunities that can fulfill future demands of San Antonio's growing workforce. Whether students are pursuing a technical degree to enter the workforce or want to continue their education toward a bachelor's degree, we are committed to providing a top-tier education and experience for our students and industry partners.

This column by Dr. Robert Garza, president of Palo Alto College, was originally published in the San Antonio Express-News' Southside Reporter and