Palm Beach State College has received a $250,000 investment from JPMorgan Chase to widen the reach of its Supply Chain programs and create a larger pipeline of skilled workers for Palm Beach County’s growing distribution and logistics industry.
Courses for the Supply Chain Management Associate in Science degree and the Logistics and Transportation Specialist College Credit Certificate have been offered at the Lake Worth campus since the programs began in 2018. However, beginning in January, they also will be available at the Palm Beach Gardens campus, closer to West Palm Beach’s northern neighborhoods, which are the current focus of an extensive revitalization program, and the city of Riviera Beach.
The investment was announced officially today at the Business Development Board Entrepreneurship Luncheon held at the Kravis Center. It is a result of the BDB’s 2018 comprehensive analysis of the county’s workforce, which looked at worker availability and skills gaps in 10 targeted sectors. The analysis, also funded by JPMorgan Chase, revealed that more workers will be needed to replace the aging workforce in the advanced manufacturing, aviation/aerospace/engineering, agribusiness and distribution/logistics sectors. Based on that, the College pursued the grant to enhance its budding Supply Chain programs and develop a more aggressive marketing and outreach strategy. The College also offers a Global Logistics and Supply Chain Technology Postsecondary Adult Vocational certificate program at the Lake Worth campus.
“Palm Beach County is home to over 15 distribution centers occupying over 4.2 million square feet in Palm Beach County. According to recent reports, the demand for industrial space to support e-commerce is projected to grow consistently through 2029,” said Kelly Smallridge, president and CEO of the Business Development Board. “Since workforce is often billed as the new incentive, Palm Beach State College’s expansion will assist with the BDB’s efforts in attracting and retaining new business in the future.”
“At JPMorgan Chase, we want more people to share in the benefits of a growing economy by creating sustainable paths to careers that lead to prosperity and wealth for more individuals,” said Juan Tagle, managing director for Chase Middle Market Banking in Palm Beach. “We are investing in this program to help more local students gain the skills needed to access the growing number of local jobs that are in high demand.”
PBSC will heavily recruit low-to-moderate income students from those targeted areas who, upon successful completion of the programs, could earn at least $27.54 an hour. Current projections indicate that there are over 1,340 jobs in the transportation, distribution and logistics sectors in Palm Beach County, and the number is expected to increase through 2023. The College expects to enroll at least 60 students during the term of the grant, giving them access to companies such as Tropical Shipping, Walgreens Co., Cheney Brothers, the Port of Palm Beach and more.
“We are thankful that JPMorgan Chase recognizes the value of the work we are doing to help individuals in our communities and the goals we plan to reach through these academic programs,’’ said PBSC President Ava L. Parker, J.D. “If we can get more people in these targeted communities trained for well-paying careers, it could make a world of difference in their lives and the lives of their families. We have a responsibility to ensure that everyone who desires to succeed in life through a quality education can do so. This initiative is once again about creating opportunities and access.”
To mark the initiative, the College is hosting a Kickoff and Expo from 9 to 11 a.m. Nov. 19 in the BioScience Technology Complex at the Palm Beach Gardens campus. It will feature a panel discussion with supply chain industry leaders and information about the programs. To learn more, visit www.palmbeachstate.edu/prospectives/SCM.
Serving 49,000 students annually, Palm Beach State College is the largest institution of higher education in Palm Beach County, providing bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees, professional certificates, career training and lifelong learning. Established in 1933 as Florida’s first public community college, Palm Beach State offers more than 130 programs of study at locations in Lake Worth, Boca Raton, Palm Beach Gardens, Belle Glade and Loxahatchee Groves.
Tabatha B. McDonald
News and Media Relations Coordinator