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Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, MI, recently incorporated Elements of Industrial Distribution into its industrial distribution curriculum for students. The online course, developed by Industrial Careers Pathway, is being used in conjunction with classroom discussion time where students hear from guest speakers currently working in the industrial distribution field.
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Twenty-nine students are registered for the inaugural course, which began this October. Local ICP ambassadors including John Masek of Bearing Service Inc., Keith Nowak of MPT Drives, Inc. and Jim LaHaie of W. C. DuComb Co., Inc. spent time visiting business classes at the college to talk about industrial distribution careers and to interest students in the class.
Elements of Industrial Distribution was developed by ICP in 2008 with the guidance and knowledge of volunteer industry professionals. The course provides an overview of the industrial distribution business model so young people entering the field can gain a fundamental understanding of the concepts that drive success. Modules cover industrial distribution fundamentals, functional operations, marketing & profitability and customer service & sales.
The online offering allows the college to add a course specifically about industrial distribution without a major investment of curriculum development and instructor time, said John Masek, who has been a guest instructor for the past four years. “Using Elements is a win-win for students, the college and the business of industrial distribution because it develops skills in some of the bright minds we need in this field,” he said.
In a distributor survey ICP conducted earlier this year, distributors reported a labor gap and brain drain in the industry, as workers approached retirement age and younger generations have lost interest in the industry.
Individuals can purchase the new course on their own as can employers who would like to administer the course to younger and newer employees. Visit www.industrialcareerspathway.org for more information.