Conestoga news

February 20, 2018 8:11 AM

Career development opportunity for supply chain students announced

Karmax Heavy Stamping, a Magna International company, has announced a new career development opportunity for students entering their second year of Conestoga’s Business Administration - Supply Chain and Operations Management advanced diploma program.

During a presentation on February 13, Mark McMillan, supply chain area leader for Karmax, announced the company will offer two students full tuition for their second and third year of the program. During those two years, the students will also be provided with flexible work hours at Karmax where they will receive training and mentorship opportunities. Upon graduation, the students will receive offers of full-time employment. 

“We are a big believer in this program,” said McMillan. “The reason we’re here today is that we feel the shortage of supply chain workers. I have a difficult time getting people into Karmax because other companies are after the same talent.” 

McMillan said Karmax currently employs 30 Conestoga graduates and hopes the career development program will provide a stream of talent for the company. Karmax plans to extend its offer to two students each year to address its shortage of skilled workers.

The new opportunity Karmax has offered students expands on the existing relationship Magna International has with the college. In 2017, the company announced it will invest $800,000 over the next four years to support the establishment of the Magna Centre for Supply Chain Excellence at Conestoga. The new centre will address Canada’s critical shortage of skilled supply chain specialists, develop innovative and practical solutions for real-world challenges, and leverage innovation and resources across a global network of partners and associated groups. 

“Supply chain sector surveys and research suggest there’s a shortage of almost 10,000 supply chain specialists each year in Canada,” said Brian Watson, director of the centre. “We have been working for a number of years for a way to identify a way to attract more people to the supply chain sector. The approach we have developed with our industry partner is modeled after successful approaches in Europe where industry and education work together to develop skilled talent in their area of interest.”

Conestoga’s three-year Business Administration - Supply Chain and Operations Management program prepares students for successful careers in the growing, dynamic, and under-serviced field of supply chain management. In Canada's supply chain sector there is a greater demand for skilled graduates than there are graduates available. The college’s program has a long-standing reputation for providing students with the skills and knowledge required to play key roles in this rewarding and varied field where they can make decisions that have a global impact.

For more information, visit the program page and the Magna Centre for Supply Chain Excellence.