CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
July 22, 2017
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Supporting and developing tomorrow's supply chain leaders

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CSCMP has made a significant investment in its young professionals because we believe they represent the next generation of supply chain leaders.

CSCMP is committed to ensuring that our members' voices are heard in matters regarding the organization and its mission to educate and connect supply chain professionals from around the globe. That is why we have a number of volunteer committees, some of which have been in place for many years. All of them do important work, but I'd like to highlight one in particular that I believe will play an especially valuable role in the future of our profession.

CSCMP's Young Professionals Committee (YPC), established in 2008, is tasked with identifying and providing tools that are critical to young professionals' development as well as creating opportunities for young members to interact with today's supply chain leaders. The committee also works to grow CSCMP membership among young professionals and increase the retention rate of student members as they transition to full-time employment. The YPC has a significant presence at CSCMP's annual EDGE conference, including hosting a networking event and sponsoring educational sessions. If you'll be attending our 2017 conference in Atlanta September 25–27, I encourage you to seek out committee members and learn more about how you can support YPs in your company.

CSCMP has made a significant investment in this group because we believe that the YPC represents the next generation of supply chain leaders. They are critical to maintaining our relevancy and reach as a professional society and a supply chain community. We need supply chain leaders and their companies to support their young professional employees by investing in, and allowing them to participate in, activities such as the national Young Professionals Committee or by serving as a YP chair at their local roundtable, both of which will help them continue to hone and develop critical skills and leadership experience.

How can young professionals become involved in the committee? An open call for members is conducted each year. Candidates must be active CSCMP members and maintain their membership throughout their two-year term. (A member's term may be extended if he or she meets certain criteria.)

Members of our Young Professionals Committee recently gathered for their annual meeting in Chicago. During that meeting, we asked them why they volunteer with CSCMP. Here are their top responses:

  • Connecting with new people, including top leaders in the profession
  • Learning about and sharing best practices
  • Building "soft" skills, such as written and verbal communication, problem solving, and leadership in a low risk/high reward environment
  • Giving back/paying it forward by helping students and other young professionals connect with CSCMP
  • Being challenged and developing new experiences outside of the normal work environment

Those are all worthy objectives that will help young professionals develop into our companies' future supply chain leaders. I hope you'll agree, and that you'll encourage young professionals in your company to join CSCMP and participate in the YPC and its activities.

Rick Blasgen is President and Chief Executive Officer of the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).

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