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ASCM Insights

Build the Workforce of the Future from Within


I’ve written often about the twin existential crises facing supply chain: the worker shortage and the skills gap. Although an aging workforce and lack of tech expertise are two primary causes of this plight, they’re certainly not the only sources of concern.

Consider a recent piece by Rachel Romer, cofounder of Guild Education and one of The World Economic Forum’s “innovators to watch.” In the article, which she presented at Davos, she asserts that company leaders can rebuild trust in business and democracy not through economic growth or expanded offerings, but through investment in their workers. “By providing education, skills and career pathways, employers create cultures of opportunity that are critical to attracting, retaining and developing their talent,” Romer writes. “In this way, they build the workforce of the future from within.”

Romer cites a research survey about adult competencies, which determined that “there are 100 million Americans, and 50% of the entire global workforce, who need to be reskilled for the jobs of the next decade.” Unlike upskilling, which involves training an employee to improve their skills so they can get better at their jobs, reskilling requires learning an entirely new set of skills — a more difficult and time-consuming task, but also more meaningful.

Both pathways are important and valuable for a company to invest in. It’s an oft-repeated statistic, but it’s significantly cheaper to keep your people than it is to hire new ones. According to data from Gallup, “The cost of replacing an individual employee can range from one-half to two times the employee's annual salary.”

Bottom line: Employee education is a financial imperative.

Earning your worth

Romer states that there is “a clear and obvious relationship” between education and higher wages, better health and more participation in volunteer activities. In other words, building specialized knowledge to advance professionally can make a person more prosperous, more engaged in their communities and just plain happier overall. Few can argue with that.

ASCM offers a variety of educational pathways to help you reach these goals, including certificates in planning, warehousing and procurement; certifications and credentials; and much more. Whether you’re refining your current career journey or embarking on an entirely new one, continuing education is an investment in yourself and can make you a must-hire employee.

Indeed, the demand for supply chain professionals continues to surge, and the salaries are growing correspondingly. Curious how your compensation measures up? Participate in ASCM’s Supply Chain Salary and Career Survey to access the latest relevant data about supply chain salaries, benefits, job stability, work-life balance and job satisfaction. Then, use the information provided in the report to determine your best path forward  

About the Author

Abe Eshkenazi, CSCP, CPA, CAE CEO, ASCM

Abe Eshkenazi is chief executive officer of the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM), the largest organization for supply chain and the global pacesetter of organizational transformation, talent development and supply chain innovation. During his tenure, ASCM has significantly expanded its services to corporations, individuals and communities. Its revenue has more than doubled, and the association successfully completed three mergers in response to both heightened industry awareness and the vast and ongoing global impact driven by supply chains. Previously, Eshkenazi was the managing director of the Operations Consulting Group of American Express Tax and Business Services. He may be contacted through

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