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9/23/2019 - Jackson, Miss.

As the logistics, transportation and supply chain management industries grow, Mississippi Public Universities prepare the workforce to keep those industries running smoothly. Marshall County has been selected by both Cooper Tire & Rubber Company, Corelle Brands LLC and Nike to house distribution centers. The Cooper Tire site will be its largest distribution center in the United States. The Correlle Brands operation will include manufacturing and distribution, creating 400 jobs by June 2020. Last month, sports apparel company Nike announced plans to join them by bringing a distribution facility to Marshall County, creating 250 logistics and supply chain jobs by Spring 2020.

The increase in just-in-time manufacturing, online retail shopping, and same-day home delivery from grocery store and big box chains has created a demand for an expanded workforce and increased expertise in logistics. Mississippi Public Universities have several academic programs that prepare students to enter the logistics workforce and help it to evolve over time to meet the rapidly changing needs of manufacturers and consumers.

The University of Southern Mississippi (USM) offers undergraduate, graduate and certification programs designed to meet the growing demands of logistics transportation- and supply chain management-related careers found nationally, internationally, and in particular, across the Mississippi Gulf Coast region. The Master of Science in Logistics, Trade, and Transportation (MS LTT) is a one-year program available in a variety of formats, comprised of courses such as logistics, supply chain management, global trade and economic development, and business.

USM also offers students at Northshore Technical Community College (NTCC) the opportunity to pursue careers in logistics, through an Applied Technology Pathway between USM and NTCC. The pathway supports workforce needs of local, state and regional industry partners by preparing NTCC students with the technical leadership skills needed by organizations to compete in today’s global economy. NTCC students who participate in the pathway will work toward a Bachelor of Science in applied technology degree from USM.

Delta State University is the only university in Mississippi to offer undergraduate and graduate aviation programs. The department offers a bachelor of commercial aviation, with concentrations in flight operations, aviation management, and logistics; it also offers a master of commercial aviation. Students are prepared for a variety of careers—from single- and multi-engine pilot to supply-chain management and more—with airlines, aircraft manufacturing, airport management, air traffic control, military aviation, aerospace, and logistics.

DSU aviation graduates possess the skills to perform as part of flight crews and as executives with supervisory and managerial responsibilities at all levels in the aviation sector. Facilities and equipment include 19 flight training aircrafts; two hangars (approximately 12,500 square feet apiece) at the Cleveland Municipal Airport; about 5,000 square feet of classroom/office space at the hangar, which also houses two cutting-edge flight training devices; and, on campus, the 12,000-square foot Gibson-Gunn Commercial Aviation Building, which contains three state-of-the-art single-/multi-engine flight training devices.

Mississippi State University is the only university in the region offering a supply chain management concentration. This program in the College of Business enables students to earn a marketing major while selecting elective courses in distribution, supply chain and logistics. Once employed, graduates learn to use the nation’s highly developed logistics infrastructure to serve customers quickly and efficiently, making decisions affecting the transporting, warehousing, and order processing of raw materials, purchased parts and finished goods needed in society. Career options include chief procurement officer, vice president of customer service and logistics, demand planner, and any number of management positions in distribution, facilities, industrial production, international logistics, purchasing, and transportation.

The FedEx Logistics HBCU Program at Mississippi Valley State University provides professional opportunities for students while building a pipeline of talent to support the company’s industry-leading customs brokerage operations. Implementation of the program included the opening of the MVSU FedEx Logistics Satellite Office on MVSU’s campus, where students are receiving hands-on logistical work experience. A variety of part-time positions are available to students at the satellite office to support the International Import Clearance department for FedEx Trade Networks, a subsidiary of FedEx Logistics. Responsibilities vary and may include data entry, classification, documentation, customer service, and other office-related tasks. MVSU is the first institution in the nation to collaborate with FedEx Logistics for this unique initiative.

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The Mississippi Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning governs the public universities in Mississippi, including Alcorn State University; Delta State University; Jackson State University; Mississippi State University including the Mississippi State University Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine; Mississippi University for Women; Mississippi Valley State University; the University of Mississippi including the University of Mississippi Medical Center; and the University of Southern Mississippi.

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