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CONTACT: Bruce Smith
Public Information Officer
(310) 434-4209
DATE: July 11, 2007


Santa Monica College is pleased to announce it has received two state grants totaling $865,000 to develop a program to train Westside transit workers in hybrid technology and related skills and Southland employees in the ever-expanding field of logistics, the movement of goods and services.

The two grants were awarded by the California Community Colleges' Chancellor's Office and will be used based on the participating companies' needs.

The $437,500 “advanced transportation” grant is to train technicians and managers at the Santa Monica Big Blue Bus and Culver City Transit Line in hybrid technology, alternative fuels and related fields as the two bus companies shift to using more alternative-fuel buses.

The $427,500 logistics grant is to provide training in such topics as intelligent systems, project management, quality improvement processes, global-level business practices and product/inventory control. Training will be provided to Nippon Express of El Segundo, Eagle Global Logistics of Torrance, and Performance Team 3PL, with facilities in Compton, Carson and San Pedro.

All training will be provided at the companies' sites.

“SMC is claiming its stake in the logistics and transit industries,” said Chito Cajayon, acting dean of workforce development. “Up and down the state, there are only about five or six community colleges that can equal us.”

“SMC is committed to truly serving the training needs of our local business and industries such as the Big Blue Bus and the Culver City Bus Lines,” said SMC Vice President of Planning and Development Marvin Martinez. “Our goal is to assist those agencies in improving their services and efficiency.”

This is the second grant SMC has received for logistics employee training. Last year, SMC received a $600,000 state grant to train 525 workers in the declining manufacturing industry – all of whom faced job loss – in the emerging logistics field, in positions ranging from skip loaders to managers. It also helped those currently in the logistics field to upgrade their skills.

SMC trained employees at companies such as Sky Chefs, which provides food service to commercial airlines, in such topics as quality improvement techniques, computer training, import/export procedures and project management.

In addition, SMC is in the process of developing a logistics major through its Business Department, offering its first course – Principles of Logistics – this fall.

Logistics is the second largest employment sector in the U.S. and is forecast to continue to grow, according to industry professionals. Organizations spend nearly $800 billion a year on logistics in the U.S., and worldwide, more than $1.4 trillion is spent annually.

Jobs in logistics range from relatively unskilled positions, such as truck drivers, to sophisticated management posts in inventory control, production, warehouse operations and more. Industry officials say the field is particularly rich in offering new management opportunities.


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