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Saturday, September 20, 2014

WCC Introduces New Supply Chain Management Programs

In the Winter 2012 semester, WCC launched a new associate degree in supply chain management. This fall, the College adds a new certificate program in supply chain operations. While these programs are new to WCC, the jobs associated with them are part of a decades-old profession.

Managing the flow of materials used in automobile production has been part of the American manufacturing lexicon since the early 20th century. It took on greater significance in the 1980s as the industry replaced its large-scale inventory system with a just-in-time production model.

Today’s globalized economy has put a greater emphasis on strategic materials management across all industries. Those activities include transportation brokerages, warehouse management, supply planning, and collaboration among different sites within an organization or industry.

There’s a Lot at Stake

“Supply chain management involves the coordination of suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and retailers to ensure that products and services are available to consumers in a timely and cost-efficient fashion, while maintaining the service level customers demand,” said Cheryl Byrne. She worked on developing the program with other faculty members and professionals who serve on the business department’s Advisory Board. Byrne said the impetus for the new program came directly from Advisory Board members.

“Our Advisory Board members have also expressed their willingness to develop internships for our students within their organizations and to work with us to expand a similar program to other organizations,” said Byrne.

There’s Lots of Opportunity

Students who graduate from WCC may find jobs in a broad range of areas, including manufacturing, communications, and retail.

The WCC associate degree program requires 60 credit hours. In addition to required basic studies in speech, writing, math, social science, humanities/arts, computer literacy, and natural science, it includes classes in topics such as logistics and supply chain management, merchandising and inventory control, transportation management, and business and supply chain analytics.

After graduating from the WCC degree program, students can continue their studies in supply chain management at several universities across the state, provided that they meet transfer requirements. Universities that offer a bachelor’s and/or master’s degree in the field include:

The 16-credit certificate program includes many of the core classes required for the associate degree.

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