- The J.B. Hunt Innovation Center of Excellence at the University of Arkansas will benefit from a $2.75 million donation from J.B. Hunt Trucking, a Press Release reported. The center will be a joint effort between the College of Engineering and the Sam M. Walton College of Business in order to promote supply chain management efficiency via technology.
- The Center intends to enhance the University's existing interdisciplinary collaboration through the creation of a department that encourages engineering, computer science, business researchers and students to team with J.B. Hunt employees. The goal will be to achieve solutions to issues through specialized design and technology-driven supply chain results.
- The Innovation Center Steering Committee, consisting of 14 leaders from J.B. Hunt, Walton College and the College of Engineering will lead the Center. The College is world renowned, ranking 5th globally in empirical supply chain management research.
With the global market place increasingly laden with skills gaps, J.B. Hunt recognized an opportunity to help its own company interests by training others for the 21st century supply chain. With efforts to fill future manufacturing jobs stemming from a 3.5 million employment gap, the company is cultivating fertile grounds for talent to grow.
The company itself, a leader in trucking and transport, is clear on its intentions, hoping to foster creativity in an embattled field where new methods of providing value are needed. With tolls and fines adding up along with inter-modal transport making life harder for truckers than ever, the industry needs input and fresh analysis. J.B. Hunt will benefit from its engagement with students, and that benefit will very likely to be passed on to its customers.
As technology innovation continues to push forward, past vocational competencies are not enough for the next generation of supply chain. Technical training will remain a significant component, but without companies such as J.B. Hunt providing the direction (and investment) the skills gap will not recover.