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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Logistic and Transportation Industry Training Needs

A few years ago, I co-conducted a study to determine the training needs of the Logistics and Transportation (L&T)industry in Northeastern PA. What I found was an interesting list.

Even with the recent climb in gas prices, I think these expressed needs are all current. Many of these needs cut across industries and even job levels. I think many of these skills are needed at the executive and hourly levels. What does it say when almost every job requires "better communication" than what the existing communication process happens to be? Better communication is a universal training need.

The training needs assessment consisted of a survey and number of focus groups to gather the data.
  • Properly trained workers are a critical need. As is the need for on-going training in a number of areas such as diversity, technology, communication, driving and mechanical skills.
  • One skill set that was highlighted strongly in focus group meetings was that of basic worker skills. This ranged from interviewing skills to work place skills such as showing up on time, not bad-mouthing the boss, not taking 2 hour lunches, not asking for a raise on the second day of work. These are basic employability skills.
  • Good written and oral communication skills. For example, when to use email and when not to use email.
  • Few companies have customer service training but it is a big need.
  • There is little computer training. The training that is needed is in the area of trouble-shooting basic problems. New workers know a minimum amount of computer programs (MS Office Suite) but don’t know what to do if they have a problem or how to figure something out on their own.
  • Most of the mechanic training is on-the-job while driver training is primarily focused on safety but there is a need to deal with driver paperwork and customer service issues as well.
  • Forklift training is a critical need in many L&T firms and most of the training in that area is done in-house.
  • Managerial, supervisor training was indicated as a need in many firms.
  • Finding and locating CDL drivers is an issue.
  • Train-the-trainer is an area of need. Since much of the training is done internally, these organizations would like to know how to prepare people who know the subject matter to present it to new and existing workers.
This is also a shout out to Stan. Keep hanging in there. We'll find you something.

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