The Deputy Sector Navigator (DSN) for Global Trade & Logisitics and the CITD convened a meeting with representatives of local companies involved in international trade and community college educators to discuss the skills employers look for in employees in this industry.
The meeting began with a presentation by Zhenya Lindstrom, Director of the Center of Excellence for the San Diego and Imperial region, on the international business labor market.
The presentation covered both the demand for qualified employees for trade related job openings, as well as the supply of students coming out of international business programs at the community colleges and four-year universities.
This led to an interactive discussion on the skills employers value most, how industry and community colleges can develop partnerships to better prepare students for successful employment, and trends in the industry that could help determine future educational and training needs.
The discusion, facilitated by Philip Jordan of BW Research Partnership, included instant text message polling of participants, small group discussions, and report outs. Some of the skills the employers noted as being of utmost importance for employees included critical thinking, problem-solving, software proficiency, and project management skills, among others. Suggestions for creating or strengthening partnerships between industry and community colleges included having industry be more involved in curriculum development, provide more opportunities for work-based learning, and colleges being more proactive and up-to-date with industry trends and needs.
The insights gleaned from the discussions and polling questions will be summarized in a report that will be prepared by BW Research. Additionally, Ms. Lindstrom is completeing a full gap analysis for the industry. Both reports will be made available to educational institutions and companies in the international trade community.