Area transport companies approach workforce crossroads; colleges drive home a solution

As one of the most active transportation and logistics hubs in North America, Kansas City is home to a lot of companies that employ a robust workforce focused on getting things from Point A to Point B.

But the growth of the industry and the retirement of seasoned drivers and logistics specialists means the demand for workers who can get things from Point A to Point B is on the rise.CDL-A

So, Metropolitan Community College has teamed up with Johnson County Community College and Kansas City Kansas Community College to expand opportunities for transportation and distribution training for the region. 

The establishment of the Regional Transportation and Logistics Training (RTLT) Partnership allows the three community colleges to pool resources in order to train more people for CDL-A (commercial driver’s license) and logistics jobs. Through the partnership, students have access to a wider variety of training options–from preparation for entry-level jobs to training for senior-level positions–at lower cost and in locations that are convenient for the students.

MCC has long offered courses and certifications in transportation and logistics; the RTLT Partnership will now make this training accessible to even more students. Last year, more than 200 students earned their CDL-A certification through MCC; college officials expect the partnership to attract more than 60 additional CDL students. In other distribution courses, hundreds of additional students are expected.

Beyond the courses offered on campus at MCC, JCCC and KCKCC, the colleges are also offering training off-site at various locations. At a site near the new Intermodal and Logistics Park KC in Edgerton, Kan., for example, the RTLT Partnership will train CDL drivers to meet the demand of the intermodal facility which anticipates serving over 5,000 semi-trucks per day.

Additionally, transportation and logistics companies will be able to contract with the partnership colleges to provide training directly to their own employees.

“All courses are fully customizable and can be brought to employers’ job sites,” said Kevin Kelley, Ph.D., director of business and community development for the MCC Institute for Workforce Innovation.  

MCC offers a wide range of contract training and consulting services for transportation and logistics companies and many other industries, including  manufacturing, healthcare, OSHA and environmental health, customer service and more. 

For more information about the Regional Transportation and Logistics Training Partnership, or to find out about MCC’s other workforce and contract training offerings, contact Kevin Kelley at kevin.kelley@mcckc.edu or (816) 604-1562.