All posts tagged 'education'

Filling the Gap

by Cliff Lynch
17. December 2013 09:45

As we approach the end of another year, it appears that the economy is continuing its slow route to recovery. This week there was some good news on the employment front. Job openings rose to almost 4 million, or 2.9 unemployed workers for every opening. While this is not exactly full employment, it is significantly better than the 7 to 1 ratio of 2009. According to the Associated Press, the typical ratio is 2 to 1. Why then is the unemployment rate stuck at 7% - and even higher in many cities?

The reason is pretty basic. There is a mismatch between the candidates and the openings. As manufacturing firms and distribution centers have become much more sophisticated and turned to robotics and other automated processes, it has become more difficult to find qualified employees. Although many of the unemployed are anxious to work, they simply are not qualified for the new positions they are being asked to fill. What many cities need, but lack, are sound technical education programs in the high schools that are focused on the industries that are predominant in their communities. Several firms have moved into cities where there was a satisfactory total labor pool, but found that the available workers were not qualified for the jobs they needed to fill.

Fifty years ago, the educational system recognized the importance of technical or trade high schools, and almost every city of over 300,000 population had at least one. They were well attended by those who leaned toward the blue collar occupations, or wanted a technical background to supplement their college educations. While the curriculum of such a school today would be quite different than that of 50 years ago, what better place to learn about robotics and other automated processes? There are excellent technical schools in existence today, but most are operated for profit. What we need is technical education that would be funded by the various school systems and available to all regardless of their ability to pay. Education is not the job of the Chamber of Commerce or economic development boards. Education that is relevant to the communities in which we live whether technical or otherwise, should be the goal of school systems everywhere.

Cheers to Labor Day!

by Marly Hazen McQuillen
31. August 2012 06:40

How do you plan to celebrate Labor Day? Beer? Games? How bout The Beer Game?

The Beer Game

Origins of The Beer Game

In the early 1960s, MIT professors developed The Beer Game to simulate supply chain management lessons, specifically the bullwhip effect.

Today, it can be played either as a classroom board game or online.

"Chaos": How one MIT professor described The Beer Game

"Chaos reigns in my classroom," wrote Professor John D. Sterman in 1992. "Eighty students are shouting, gesturing, and laughing while counting poker chips and turning over cards. A thick roll of $1 bills awaits the winners. A field trip to Las Vegas? No, it's the 'Beer Game', a role-playing simulation designed to teach principles of management science." 

Where to Play The Beer Game

History of logistics: 1898-2012, an infographic-style timeline

by Marly Hazen McQuillen
25. April 2012 10:13

Did you know? The first supply chain program in the United States opened nearly a century ago! Check out the supply chain timeline below for other logistics highlights from the past century.

SCM Infographic

Railroad crossing safety: Zombie survival guide

by Marly Hazen McQuillen
28. October 2011 10:24

Teaching life skills to the undead: Logistical considerations

What's the best way to attract zombies' attention? It's a question you may not have ever asked aloud. Luckily, we can all learn from Brainy's bravery during the Memphis Zombie Massacre 2011. Norfolk Southern's safety spokesbrain demonstrated the message "Look, Listen and Live."

Follow this harebrained guide when helping the undead to safely navigate traffic. Without these tips, you may find yourself feeling frustrated, even brainless. Watch and learn survival techniques for a world of fast-moving trains and slow-moving zombies:

Zombie doctor's orders

Step 1: Look.

  • Some accidents occur once the first train has passed and a second train comes through on a parallel track.
  • Modern trains are quieter than ever, often with no "clackety-clack."
  • Trains can move in either direction at any time.

Brainy thrilled zombies with the message: Train Your Brain. More...