Christina Espinosa, university graduate turned San Jacinto College student, is already making her mark in supply chain management by holding the eight national certifications needed to catch the eyes of employers.
She and classmates Mirna Cruz, Carlos Mejia, Xitlallic Andrade and Raul Hinojosa are among the first group of college students in Texas to earn all eight SCPro™ Fundamentals certifications awarded by the Council of Supply Chain Management Professionals (CSCMP).
The LINCS Supply Chain Management Program at San Jacinto College administers the courses needed to earn the CSCMP certifications. LINCS stands for Leveraging, Integrating, Networking, and Coordinating Supplies and is funded by a $24.5 million U.S. Department of Labor Trade Adjustment Assistance Community College and Career Training (TAACCCT) grant.
"I'm hoping that by completing these courses and earning these certifications that I will stand out more and get noticed by employers," said Espinosa, who spent one year learning and studying the LINCS curriculum to pass the certification exams. "I am interested in the importing and exporting of this industry. It's a web of different parts, and it's not until you get into this program that you discover how all of the products get to their destination."
Espinosa is set to graduate from San Jacinto College in May 2016 with an associate degree in international business, logistics, and maritime. San Jacinto College began offering the LINCS program in Spring 2015 and is the only college in Texas to award the CSCMP certifications. Since then, the College has delivered 520 CSCMP exams, resulting in a pass rate of approximately 72.7 percent.
Recently, the College began working with Austin High School Maritime Magnet Program to deliver the LINCS program certification courses and other schools are in negotiations for the program as well.
"Employers focus on hiring graduates that have gone beyond just getting a degree in a discipline," said Margaret Kidd, program director of the TAACCCT LINCS grant at San Jacinto College. "Students who position themselves with specialized certifications stand out from the average and have a much higher likelihood of securing a prime position."
The San Jacinto College LINCS program includes the eight industry-recognized certification tracks: customer service operations, demand planning, inventory management, manufacturing and service operations, supply chain management principles, supply management and procurement, transportation operations, and warehousing operations.
Many of the students in the San Jacinto College LINCS program are like Espinosa, seeking a second career and degree; others include unemployed workers, first-time students, and military veterans. Students may graduate from the program with an associate degree in international business, logistics and maritime, or transfer to a university. San Jacinto College is partnered with the University of Houston, College of Technology, Supply Chain Program to offer a pathway for students interested in receiving a four-year degree in logistics.
The demand for more workers in supply chain management is steadily increasing, as such factors as an aging workforce, increased trade from Asia, the Panama Canal expansion, and the new free trade pacts play a part in what's happening in the industry. San Jacinto College is a part of a consortium of nine colleges and three universities that was awarded a portion of the TAACCCT grant to develop a national curriculum, enroll students into credit-bearing supply chain management degree plan, provide credentials, and place graduates in jobs and/or provide transfers into four-year universities.
For more information about the San Jacinto College TAACCCT LINCS program and the international business, logistics and maritime program, visit sanjac.edu/career/international-business-logistics-maritime.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.