By Michael D. Pitman
MIDDLETOWN — Cincinnati State Technical & Community College will tap into the logistics industry with a new initiative.
The school is in the midst of launching a Logistics Center and a Tri-State Transportation and Logistics Council that will help students develop a career in the industry.
“It’s something new for the region, it’s something new for the area,” said Daniel Ricciardi, president and CEO of Tri-State Transportation and Logistics Council. “We’re going to bring the academic and business community together. That’s something that usually doesn’t happen, especially in logistics and transportation, and we’re going to help serve their needs.”
The announcement of the center and council was made at a Cincinnati State Middletown Legislative Luncheon, where several state law makers from the region learned about this and other news at Butler County’s first and only community college.
Ricciardi said this initiative, which will be self-funding, will be used as a “leading-edge educational opportunity” and will help address the needs of the transportation community in the region. The council will service a 24-county area, including 13 counties in the Cincinnati and Dayton regions, eight counties in Northern Kentucky and three counties in Southeast Indiana.
Ricciardi said 14 percent of the nonpublic workforce is involved in transportation or logistics in this region.
“Logistics is sort of a foundation industry,” he said. “Without logistics, suppliers cannot ship their products, manufacturers cannot get their raw materials, we can’t get supplies in a distribution hub. That’s what leads to other companies coming into the region. You can’t have manufacturing, you can’t have health care, you can’t have aerospace, you can’t have almost any industry you can think of unless there’s a foundation of moving goods in and out of this area.”
Butler County is home to a number of manufacturers that rely on logistics and transportation, including AK Steel in Middletown, Vinylmaxx in Hamilton and FinPan in West Chester Twp. Rep. Tim Derickson, R-Hanover Twp., who has focused much of his time in Columbus on workforce development issues and initiatives, said there is “an absolute need” for this center and council.
“I think that Cincinnati State has recognized a need in our community and is sincerely trying to fulfill that need,” said Derickson, who was one of a handful of state lawmakers that attended the Friday luncheon. “Whenever you can find a community college or a provider of training who has recognized a need and is catering to it, that’s what it’s all about.”
As part of this initiative, Cincinnati State will offer a new associates degree in supply chain management.
“We want to promote the resources that we have and make sure they are available to industry, the industry knows about them, and the industry can help us decide what kind of training they need,” Ricciardi said.
The council is comprised of business members in the transportation and logistics industries, government agencies, community organizations, education, and affiliated business support services and goods. One of the primary missions is to work with members “to spur regional economic development, create jobs, and invest in infrastructure and education to drive both urban and suburban growth in logistics, transportation, supply chain and construction,” Ricciardi said.
Ricciardi said he’s developed a similar council — which is comparable to an industry trade association or a chamber of commerce for logistics and transportation companies — in Columbus and it was successful.
Vision of Tri-State Transportation Logistics Council
The Tri-State Transportation Logistics Council provides “a competitive advantage” for indistries that serve both national and global markets, and it aims at creating an economic opportunity for the region. The vision of the council is to have the tri-state region known as the major U.S. channel of advanced logistics. And when it is operational, the council will:
Develop and enhance an advanced logistics infrastructure
Build a high-skill workforce for competitive advantage
Infuse working-class logistics technology into regional industry
Foster a logistics-friendly business environment
Develop national active marketing and attraction effort