Grant Bolsters University-Community College Partnerships

Grant Bolsters University-Community College Partnerships
Michael Manalac, a senior TOM major, uses a state-of-the-art scanner.
Matt Donovan, a senior TOM major, works with some of the technology that will be part of the new lab.

Community college students who want to study supply chain management at Cal Poly Pomona will have an easier time finishing their coursework thanks to a $60,800 grant from the California Transportation and Logistics Institute (CaTLI).

The one-year grant has been awarded to the Technology and Operations Management (TOM) department in the College of Business Administration (CBA). Funds will enhance collaboration between the university and Rio Hondo, Riverside, Mt. San Antonio, East Los Angeles and Chaffey community colleges. Currently, some TOM-related courses are not transferable into the California State University system, including Cal Poly Pomona. The grant will help change that, said Dr. Hassan Halati who will oversee the grant.

“The purpose is to expose students to this growing area and make it easier for them to complete their studies,” Halati said.

The grant will cover areas of study that include logistics, transportation management and quality management. In the spring quarter, TOM and CBA will open the Supply Chain Operations Transportation Research Center, which will expose students to new and emerging technologies in supply chain management.

Beneficiaries of this grant extend beyond participating colleges and students. As more goods and products are made abroad, there is a strong need for professionals that are skilled in overseeing operations in this high-tech environment. By 2030, 350,000 more jobs will be needed to maintain the flow of goods throughout Southern California, according to CaTLI.

Salaries in supply chain management are just as impressive as the job growth.

Professionals with up to five years of experience in supply chain management can earn an average of $65,389, according to a 2006 salary survey from the Institute for Supply Management. Last year's TOM graduates who studied logistics and supply chain management work in entry-level positions that pay between $45,000 to $60,000, Halati said. Companies that recruited TOM students include Fluor, Smart & Final and Nestle.

CaTLI is a partnership of the California State Universitysystem, California Community Colleges, the Southern California Leadership Council and the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp.