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College Gets Grants for Transportation and Logistics Training

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 officials said.

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 and efficiency."

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' sites.

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 manufacturing industry.

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 officials said.

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.


“SMC is claiming its stake in the logistics and transit industries." Chito Cajayon


"SMC is committed to truly serving the training needs of our local business and industries." Marvin Martinez




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