By Liz Richards, MHEDA Executive Vice President
As I am writing my column, the snow is falling here in the Chicago ‘burbs and we are all dreaming about spending time in Orlando for MHEDA’s Convention! Of course there’s a lot to do between now and then, but we are most definitely “thinking Spring!”
A lot of great things are happening this year. For example, attendance at this year’s Convention is tracking to be the highest we have seen in many years. The Exhibitors’ Showcase sold out in record time for this year’s Convention with all the booths reserved in less than two weeks. Of course this is a great circumstance for MHEDA, but, unfortunately, members who didn’t act quickly enough found themselves without a booth. Remember to mark your calendar for September 15, 2014this is the date we will start selling space for the 2015 showcase! Remember to keep in mind the difference between MHEDA’s Convention and convention al trade shows. The Exhibitors’ Showcase is only one component of the convention, and even if you don’t have a booth, there are countless opportunities for networking, education and a little fun sprinkled in there too. We will make every effort to maximize your opportunity to connect with your industry peers and learn from some of the best and brightest in the industry over the course of a few days. We hope you will join us for this valuable annual industry event.
Reading through the pages of this issue, there is a common theme about workforce development, a subject we will spend a lot of time on during the convention. The “Ask Your Board” question is very timely, with board members responding to how they are blending an older workforce with younger employees. I enjoyed reading one of the responses about how older people have adapted to technology. My father, age 90, has an iPad, is a regular Facebook user and uses Facetime to connect with us from afar. Pretty cool. I loved the profile on Howard Bernstein (another 90-year-old!) and the great work he is doing with the scholarship he created. Thank you to the many members who are supporting this initiative!
Our good friends from MHI invited me to attend their Round Table Leaders meeting earlier this year and much of the meeting centered on discussion about the Material Handling & Logistics Roadmap, a report created after a series of meetings last year with over 100 industry, academic and association participants. MHEDA was pleased to be involved. Again, a major theme of this report (which focuses on where the industry will be in 2025) was workforce development and the ongoing needs we will all face in recruiting workers to this industry. If you haven’t already read this report, I highly recommend it. It’s extremely well written, very thought provoking and if you have a son or daughter who is or will be job hunting, make sure they read it too. It’s a roadmap for their future and is accessible on MHEDA ‘s site and also at www.mhlroadmap.org.
In the meantime, here are a few other things in the works…. Material Handling & Logistics Classroom Day at MODEX. Over 200 students traditionally attend this event and I’d like to give a big shout out to the industry professionals who assisted as tour guides and exhibitors. This is a terrific grass roots effort to expose students to our industry. MHEDA’s Career Center is gaining more traction. If you haven’t already, visit this site and look through the resumes of students interested in working in our industry: www.mheda.org/careercenter. Come to the MHEDA Convention and meet students from University of Nebraska, East Carolina, Texas A&M and University of Florida. Two MHEDA members hi red students who attended last year’s convention! You might meet your next great hire at the Convention.
Please follow MHEDA on social media to keep up on the latest MHEDA news and information. You can find us on Facebook, Google +, Linkedln and on Twitter @mhedaoffice and @mhedarebecca. Hope to see you in Orlando!