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Case Study - California Transportation & Logistics Institute

A Partnership Meets the Diverse Workforce Needs of the Transportation & Logistics Industry

"More than two million California jobs are trade-related and the growing field of logistics is producing tens of thousands of well-paying careers for our people." - Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger

The California Transportation & Logistics Institute (CaTLI) is a nonprofit formed in 2007 in partnership with the California Community College (CCC) and the California State University (CSU) systems to promote the growth of the T&L Industry and address the need for skilled workers seeking living wage jobs. CATLI is coordinated by the L.A. County Economic Development Corporation (LAEDC). Like all sector partnerships, it serves two customers – businesses looking for skilled workers; and job-seekers looking to advance their careers. CaTLI provides:

  • Customized training for employers for new and/or incumbent workers; and
  • Industry driven skills training certificate and degree programs from high school to the university level to train and educate students, job seekers and current employees.

Because the T&L industry is broad and diverse, CATLI and partners serve an important role in helping to map out the career opportunities and pathways within the industry’s diverse modes of transportation (air, rail, road and water) and its sub-sectors: Transportation, Logistics Support, Warehousing and Storage, Supply Chain Management, and Safety and Security. Within each sub-sector, training is needed across entry-, mid-, supervisory and manager levels.

The key to success for CaTLI is its neutral status as a convener between what industry needs and what the education system provides. T&L businesses have worked closely with the CCCs and CSUs to define the skill requirements for T&L occupations; review existing curriculum to determine fit; identify current gaps and develop new courses; and implement credit and degree articulation agreements that will facilitate the transition of jobseekers across often otherwise independent college and university programs. To date, thirteen community colleges and four state universities have partnered with each other and employers, convened by CATLI.

Program Snapshot: When the L.A. County Metropolitan Transit Authority struggled to fill bus driver positions (well-paying with benefits), CaTLI convened a college and Worksource Center to recruit and train entry-level, often low-income, workers. The new college course covers driver’s responsibilities; work ethic; customer service; reading and test-taking strategies. The program is funded by existing T&L sector-specific college and Worksource funds, at little cost to MTA.

Also critical to success is on-going and diverse funding for CaTLI to continue bringing industry and education together. Currently most funding comes from the CCC system, with some contributions from employers and the City of L.A. CaTLI management report that balanced funding is critical to maintain neutrality across partner interests, and that direct employer contributions are ideal, but usually take more time to secure. In the meantime, as a relatively new institute, CaTLI is challenged to secure enough diverse funding to fill demands.

Compiled by CSW for the California Edge Campaign, 2009