TOM Department Teams with Community College for NSF Award

TOM Department Teams with Community College for NSF Award
A TOM student works in the Supply Chain Management Lab.

The Technology and Operations Management (TOM) Department is a co-recipient of a National Science Foundation grant that will provide students with a seamless transition from high school to Riverside Community College (RCC) to Cal Poly Pomona.

RCC is the primary beneficiary of the grant with the TOM Department expected to receive $287,800 for its role. All students who participate in the “The Logistics Technicians: Goods to Go” project will study supply chain management and logistics.  

“By enhancing the science and technology component of RCC's excellent logistics program, we provide entering students with a clear pathway for, and transfer to, TOM studies,” says TOM professor Hassan Halati, who also is the university's principal investigator. “Also, this project will improve the quality of transfer students in our department.”

The TOM Department will collaborate with RCC faculty to develop new science and technology courses for RCC, create a supply chain research center similar to TOM's laboratory and provide training to RCC faculty. Many TOM students never studied logistics or supply chain management before arriving at Cal Poly Pomona. By establishing courses on the community college level, incoming transfer students are more likely to graduate in less than two years.

The RCC portion of the project will promote the program to Inland Empire students, including those who are at-risk or come from low-income communities. By identifying candidates while in high school, RCC will have more time to offer students support so they can succeed in this rigorous academic program that requires advanced knowledge of math, science and computer operations.

Supply chain management ensures that goods are shipped from supplier to manufacturer to retailer in a timely and cost-effective manner. The Inland Empire is the epicenter of this industry with more than 40 percent of international trade reaching the ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach. While logistics industry has been significantly affected by the current recession, it is expected to create about 350,000 additional openings by 2030, according to the California Transportation and Logistics Institute. A college student who studies technology and operations management can expect to earn between $45,000 and $60,000 after graduation.

Cal Poly Pomona is one the few universities in the region that can tap into the full potential of this project. In 2008, the College of Business Administration opened the Supply Chain and Operations Technology lab, and it was quickly honored with the Innovative Solutions Award from the San Gabriel Valley Economic Partnership.