Trade & Logistics Committee – April Meeting

The Trade & Logistics Committee Meeting hosted a program titled, Help Wanted: Bringing Employers and Job Candidates Together, in early April. The event was curated by the Talent Pipeline Subcommittee to focus on connecting locally educated talent with business leaders from Miami-Dade’s booming trade & logistics industry. The meeting was held on the FIU main campus and included faculty, career counselors and students from Miami’s higher education institutions as well as high school students already pursuing an educational foundation in the logistics industry.

The meeting’s purpose was to facilitate cooperation between the schools which are graduating talented potential employees, and employers who are seeking trained or even untrained but educated employees. The subcommittee is tasked with identifying ways to bridge the talent and skills gap by identifying and addressing problem areas.

The committee was seeking answers to such questions as: Are current recruitment strategies working?  How do schools and job seekers find relevant job postings? How do they differentiate themselves on job posting sites?

Students and employers met in small groups during the program and answered questions regarding how students seek employment and how employers search for candidates and fill positions.

Takeaways from the small group discussion focused on the importance of:

  • Mentorship/internship/apprentice type programs for employers and students to get to know each other (ex. Talent Development Network);
  • YearUp is a program that helps motivated young adults move into meaningful careers through training and internships;
  • Opportunities for student to grow professionally;
  • Ways for students to stay connected to industry professionals.

A high-level panel of industry professionals presented tips and best practices for recruitment and retention of talent moderated by Sarah Tuskey, Department Chairperson – Business, Miami Dade College and Co-Chair for the Talent Pipeline Subcommittee. Panelists included:

Chelsie Taveras, Global Trade Operations & Compliance Director, Cargill

Brian Wood, Group Director, Enterprise Technology Services, Ryder

Joe Rodriguez, Managing Director, SeaLand North America & Canada

There was consensus from the panel on the skills needed for today and tomorrow’s workers:

  1. Critical analytic skills including the ability to analyze data and communicate analysis;
  2. Soft skills such as using common sense, challenging status quo, group dynamics and organizational skills;
  3. Be brave. Be bold;
  4. Be a lifelong learner…be curious;
  5. Take advantage of internship and networking opportunities to meet future employers;
  6. Know how to troubleshoot – be adaptable, be a problem solver;
  7. Get to know artificial intelligence and machine learning and know how to optimize its use.

Companies are using strategies such as internships, social media marketing, and programs like Year up to recruit entry level employees. “Go with Maersk” was used as an example of the type of program trade & logistics companies are using to recruit managerial level talent all over the world. Employers also recognize the importance of retaining top talent and are promoting programs within companies for employees to be continuously trained to pursue opportunities in other parts of the business.

Look for follow up data and recommendations from Education & Workforce Training subcommittee including continued attention on last year’s Trade & Logistics committee survey focusing on the talent and skills connection.