The Maritime Logistics Education Taskforce has graduated its fifth class of logistics interns, partnering with four school systems and 20 business partners to give area high school students real-time experience in one of the area’s fastest-growing industries.
Over the last five years, 28 companies in the Savannah logistics community have provided a taste of the many jobs that are available for those who want to work in the field.
Three years ago, MLET organizers established the Eddie Johnson Award for the top intern in the class.
This year’s winner was Sheridan Strickland of South Effingham High School, who interned at Port City Logistics. In addition to the award, he will receive $1,000 of prize money, donated by the Savannah State University’s Homeland Security and Emergency Management Program Department and augmented by business partner donations within the community.
The late Eddie Johnson was a founding board member of MLET and a dedicated advocate of development opportunities for the local logistics workforce.
“MLET has been fortunate to include participation from many stakeholders and volunteers over the past six years,” said board member McLeod Rominger of Colonial Group, adding that active board members and regular contributors are vital to the program’s success.
They include Georgia Ports Authority, John S. James, Co., PHRM Holdings, Savannah State University, SelecSource Staffing, the Propeller Club of Savannah, The Savannah Chapter of the Navy League, Colonial Energy/Enmarket Stores and Freightliner of Savannah. Educational partners include Bethesda Academy, Effingham College and Career Academy, Effingham County High School, Saint Andrews School, Savannah-Chatham County Public Schools and South Effingham High School.
Some 13 students satisfactorily completed the 2017 internship program this year, which includes up to 200 hours of on-site experience with exposure to warehousing, waterside logistics, cold storage, freight forwarding, customer service, pick and pack, and transportation.
They are Chris Adkins, Tramaine Black, Tayshon Daniels, Jonathan Haymans, Cade Layser, Chanel Moore, Kenya Palmer, Sheridan Strickland, Paul Taylor, Leanna Totten, Jake Walbert, Gerald Wells, and Lucas Zhang.
Several 2017 MLET interns performed so well, their sponsoring businesses offered them permanent jobs at the end of their internships.
One such student was Cade Layser.
“Cade is awesome,” said Heather Alkire, vice president for human resources at Fulfillment.com.
“He was planning to spend the summer in Texas and we’re happy to report he’s now going to stay with us.”
MLET’s 2017 business partners included Ball Maritime Group, California Cartage, Coastal Logistics Group, Damco, Expeditors International, Fullfilment.com, The Home Depot, JIT Warehousing and Logistics, John S. James Co., Lineage Logistics, Nordic Logistics and Warehousing, Pacific Cycle Inc.–Dorel, Peeples Industries Inc., Port City Logistics, RBW Logistics, Savannah Riverboat Cruises, Savannah River Logistics, Schneider Logistics, and Willis Logistics.
“Since the inception of the MLET internship, our business partners have collectively invested more than $200,000 toward wages and resources for the development and sustenance of this program,” Rominger said. “Their investment in the future of the logistics industry, our community and our local economy cannot be overstated.
“Private companies like these have driven the commerce and employment opportunities that Savannahians and Georgians have relied upon for decades.”