New Logistics Program Helps Students Launch Well-Paying Career | Thomas Nelson Community College

New Logistics Program Helps Students Launch Well-Paying Career

October 27, 2021
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Logistics professionals are in one of today’s most rapidly growing fields. Key to helping companies move the supply chain, they impact everything from ordering and managing inventory to dispatch and tracking operations.

Recognizing the need for a well-trained workforce in this field, Thomas Nelson Community College, soon to be Virginia Peninsula Community College, has expanded its Workforce Development offerings to include a Certified Logistics Associate–Certified Logistics Technician program.

The new program prepares students to earn nationally-recognized credentials and gives them the foundation to launch a well-paying career. With curriculum by the Manufacturing Skills Standards Council (MSSC), the program includes two online courses that each span five weeks or 40 hours.

The first course –  Certified Logistics Associate (CLA) – is a prerequisite for the Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) course. The CLA is entry-level covering topics such as the global supply chain, safety, material handling, equipment, workplace communication, and quality control, among other areas, said Bobby Perkins Jr., interim director of Trades Training at the College.

More focused on main topics in logistics, he said, the CLT class explores areas like shipping and receiving, order processing, inventory control, how to handle hazardous materials, evaluation of transportation modes, customs and more. 

Perkins noted students take the MSSC exam after each class to earn CLA and CLT certification.

“I think the students who finish a combination of the two courses will be knowledgeable enough to just jump right into entry-level positions that can help companies alleviate some of the issues they are having with the supply chain right now,” he said.

The two online courses are convenient and ideal for today’s learners. Each one includes an online portal as well as textbooks in PDF format. Routine quizzes and class discussions featuring Q&A are also part of the virtual experience. In addition, there are several financial aid options to help offset tuition costs including FastForward, Workforce Credential Grant, and the income-based Financial Assistance for Noncredit Training for Industry Credentials (FANTIC). More information is available at

Perkins said expanding program offerings is a continuing effort because this helps students gain credentials to meet business and industry needs. Workforce Development added its CLA-CLT program after examining trends in the job market and seeing how well-received a similar program was nearby.

“We have a colleague over at Community College Workforce Alliance in Richmond and they had great success with that program … there was an overflow of students. Every time I looked on or searched for jobs in the logistics field, I’d see there were a lot of different jobs,” said Perkins, emphasizing that job opportunities are very promising.

 “Those (who complete our CLA-CLT program) are still considered entry-level although they learn quite a bit. Somewhere like a Target or Walmart distribution center, they will be able to go into that job and excel and probably stand out more so than others working in those positions. That’s a good entry-level position for them to begin with and move forward,” he added, pointing out other jobs in logistics such as dispatchers, logistics specialists and logistics analysts.

Classes begin Jan. 18, 2022 with the five-week CLA course, a one-week break, then the five-week CLT course. The online synchronous classes will meet 6-10 p.m., Tuesday and Thursday.

Those interested may register now and may call (757) 825-4070 for registration details. 

In addition to the new logistics courses, Thomas Nelson offers a myriad of academic and career training programs. Learn more at