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ASCM Insights

Stronger Futures in Supply Chain


It’s been nearly eight months since the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a pandemic. In that time, millions have endured national lockdowns, with many making an abrupt pivot to remote work. In fact, about 40% of the U.S. labor force is able to work from home — which begs the question: What about the other 60%?

“The pandemic is starkly reframing societal inequalities between those who have good bandwidth connectivity and those who don’t,” Chinmay Tumbe, professor of economics at the Indian Institute of Management, tells BBC. “The latter are either struggling or out of work, stalling mortgage payments, climbing down the nutrition ladder and dipping into their savings.”

According to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), 495 million full-time jobs vanished in the second quarter of 2020. The IMF expects the trend to continue, with an estimated 245 million lost in the fourth quarter.

“Gone in the blink of an eye, many of these work hours will take months or years to come back,” Luca Ventura writes for Global Finance magazine. “Others might not even exist anymore once the pandemic is behind us.”

A large percentage of the unemployed had previously worked in hard-hit industries, such as tourism and hospitality, food service, cleaning and maintenance, transportation, and personal care — all trades that rely on a steady flow of travel and commuter traffic. Now, a survey by LiveCareer reveals that more than half of those recently unemployed are either unable to identify transferable skills or don’t know how to communicate them on a resume.

ASCM is here for you

Some people are successfully making the shift to new careers in sectors that have thrived during the pandemic. Unsurprisingly, many of their stories involve becoming part of the global supply chain. In fact, Monster reports that there are currently 40,000 vacancies in the industry. Over half of them are for entry-level positions, which further highlights the need for companies to attract new workers from outside the industry.

If you’re currently unemployed and interested in learning more about a future in supply chain, ASCM is offering a limited-time opportunity for members and nonmembers alike. Choose between a CORE membership for free or a PLUS membership for just $60. Both give you access to essential resources including career guidance, a resume builder, interviewing advice, mentorship opportunities and a three-part series on pandemic-era job search strategies hosted by the ASCM Career Coach.

ASCM membership also includes a wide array of professional development programs — in particular, APICS certifications and a body of knowledge that has been the global standard in supply chain learning and development for more than 60 years.

Finally, ASCM members can register for the upcoming ASCM Virtual Career Fair. This event is specifically designed for both industry professionals and those looking to break into the field. You’ll have the opportunity to chat with representatives from top companies, including AT&T Communications, BASF, Chemonics, Collins Aerospace, Johnson Controls International and many more. Register today to begin your career transformation.

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 at

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