Greater Jackson Alliance Workforce Assessment
Younger Associates has evaluated the availability of skilled workers for the Warehouse and Distribution sector. This evaluation is based upon a comprehensive workforce analysis completed in September 2008 in collaboration with Wadley-Donovan GrowthTech.
To gain a current and accurate measurement of labor availability by skill set, Younger Associates conducted a labor supply survey that yielded data with a +4% margin of error. The assessment found a skilled workforce and a pool of available and underemployed workers with skills directly related to the warehouse and distribution industry. For this report, labor availability has been updated to reflect March 2009 levels.
The Greater Jackson Alliance Area Labor Market has over 295,000 employed workers and a labor reserve of more than 210,000 potential and underemployed workers. Over the past two decades a significant number of warehouse and distribution companies have located in the Greater Jackson Area; consequently a sizeable portion of the available workers are prepared for jobs related to logistics, materials handling and transportation.
A warehouse and distribution operation locating in the Greater Jackson Alliance Area could draw from a pool of over 24,200 experienced workers within the labor reserve who have directly-related skills. These workers have prior work experience in warehousing, transportation and materials moving, mechanical repair, computer support, and unskilled manufacturing production.
In addition, the labor reserve offers workers with information systems, communications technology and customer support expertise. Even the most technically advanced logistics employer can fully staff their entire operation from the Greater Jackson Alliance Area labor pool.
Depending upon the exact location and commute zone within the area, a warehouse/distribution employer could expect to find 1,450 to 1,900 fully screened and qualified applicants at start-up. Additional screened and qualified candidates would be available for ongoing expansion based upon the numbers of workers entering the workforce or completing qualifying training each year.
Each year colleges and universities serving the Greater Jackson Alliance Area produce more than 620 graduates of transportation/logistics related programs. These programs are: transportation and materials moving, mechanical/repair technology, and computer support.
There are over 2,300 people not currently employed who have expressed interest in training for transportation and heavy truck operation.
Table 1 below shows the number of people currently employed in the occupations listed by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics as directly related to the warehouse and distribution sector. Also shown is the number of workers within each skill set area that are not currently employed but are interested in finding employment. This group is comprised of the recently unemployed and groups such as people returning to the workforce after caring for family, entering the workforce after completing school or training, early retirees seeking to reenter the workforce, and separating military. The underemployed workers are currently working below their skill level, or only part time, and have demonstrated skills in the skill sets shown.
Labor Quality and Cost
Employers were asked to rate their workforce, on a scale of one to five with five being highest on the following labor quality measures.
Workforce Education and Training
Table 2 below shows the total number of graduates and the number of graduates with degrees directly related to logistics and transportation from the colleges and universities serving the Greater Jackson Area.