JACKSONVILLE, FL, November 22, 2013 – It was a most unusual day at Columbia High School when GlobalJax brought a delegation of international entrepreneurs to meet with students enrolled in the Global Logistics Career Academy as part of its Going Global Student Summit program.
Now a semi-annual event, daylong GlobalJax Student Summit brings local students and community leaders together for an engaging dialogue about globalization. Students are chosen from Northeast Florida high schools and colleges to explore their interest in the future of international business.
The Global Logistics Career Academy at Columbia High School is a four-year program designed to prepare students for entry-level employment in the fields of global logistics, materials handling and distribution. Students learn about purchasing procedures, stock-control systems, storage methods, use of material handling equipment, inventory control, receiving and stock handling, stock-keeping, shipping, human relations, job interview skills, merchandising math, entrepreneurship and computerized inventory systems.
Through a partnership with First Book, a non-profit organization, the Global Logistics Career Academy houses and distributes children’s books to Title 1 schools. First Book provides new books to children in need, addressing one of the most important factors affecting literacy – access to books. An innovative leader in social enterprise, First Book has distributed more than 70 million free and low cost books in thousands of communities.
More than 150 students participated in GlobalJax’s Going Global activities, while 30 seniors had the opportunity to meet one-on-one with 10 international business leaders representing the countries of Bahrain, Egypt, Kyrgyzstan, Nepal, Oman, Jordan, Pakistan, and Tajikistan. Additionally, four local businesses participated in mentoring sessions including Walmart, Columbia Gateway College, IFCG, and UDION Foundation to offer the students more local advice on running the warehouse and career opportunities.
“This was such an amazing experience for our students, many of whom have never yet been outside Columbia County,” remarked Rebecca Golden, Lead Logistics Teacher at Columbia High. “This Going Global program has expanded their opportunities beyond what any could hope for before this exposure to global possibilities.”
The visitors were impressed by the students even running the book distribution warehouse through the school, much less their determination and commitment, staying after normal school hours when necessary.
The visitors shared information about their countries, businesses, and challenges, and encouraged the students to dream big dreams. “These students probably don’t realize how incredible they are but we can tell that if they keep working hard, like we have seen today, that they have great futures ahead of them,” said Mr. Mustafa Barami, Project Manager, Sa'f Paper Products Co, in Oman.
According to Andrea Hartley, GlobalJax Executive Director, the Going Global Summit is in its fifth year. Made possible in part by the continuing support of JAXPORT, each Going Global Summit is designed to expose the realities of the global marketplace. Each event includes discussions on the local impact of globalization, the responsibilities of global citizens, the skills necessary to compete in a global economy, and the many opportunities to pursue international careers and business relationships.
“This is our first time taking the Going Global Summit into the schools, which allows us to include a lot of students who otherwise would not be able to participate,” Andrea explains. “The Florida Sunshine State Standards now recognize the need to “prepare Florida’s students to effectively engage, communicate, and compete globally with students around the world. Because GlobalJax is well-positioned to contribute to this effort, we plan to expand the program throughout schools across Northeast Florida.”