CSCMP's Supply Chain Quarterly
December 11, 2017
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"Young professionals" groups gather steam

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In an effort to draw a new generation into the logistics field, an increasing number of industry associations are establishing groups for the under-40 set.

With the current generation of logistics, supply chain, and material handling managers and executives—the people who created the processes, technologies, and strategies that drive supply chains today—starting to retire, developing the next generation of logistics and supply chain innovators has become a priority. But how to attract them to these fields, and keep them involved? Some industry associations think "young professionals" groups will help to keep up-and-coming young people engaged and excited about their chosen professions.

These groups, usually formed and managed by young association members, generally target members age 30 and under, although some have an age limit of 40. They typically function as a forum for discussing topics of mutual interest such as career paths and personal development, meeting peers on a social basis, and performing community service. They have their own LinkedIn and Facebook groups, publish blogs and newsletters, and run events and educational programs.

Several organizations have launched young professionals groups in the logistics and supply chain fields. Just three examples:

  • The Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP) Young Professionals Committee focuses in large part on career and personal development. CSCMP offers reduced membership rates for those age 30 and younger and will present its first "Emerging Leader" Award for young professionals later this year.
  • The Coalition of New England Companies for Trade (CONECT) Young Professionals Group for young people in international trade and transportation publishes a newsletter, organizes trips and service projects, and sponsors social events.
  • The MHI Young Professionals Network offers networking and resources for people under the age of 40 in the material handling and related professions. This group helps members share information and learn how to advance their careers.

These are just a few recent examples; others (such as Young Professionals in Transportation), have been around for some time, and new ones continue to pop up around the country.

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