Online course on industrial distribution now offered at community college

Henry Ford Community College in Dearborn, Mich., has incorporated Elements of Industrial Distribution, an online course developed by Industrial Careers Pathway (ICP), into its industrial distribution curriculum for students. ICP is a North American workforce initiative supported by an alliance of industry associations that addresses the need for a skilled industrial distribution and manufacturing sales and customer service workforce. The group links students and job seekers to career paths in industrial distribution and manufacturing through partnerships with local educators and employers.

The course is being used in conjunction with classroom discussion time where students share questions and ideas about what they learned in the online environment under the guidance of a college instructor and hear from guest speakers such as industry professionals working in the industrial distribution field. According to ICP, 29 students are registered for the inaugural course which began in October. With the aid of a presentation developed by ICP, local ICP ambassadors John Masek of Bearing Service, Inc., Keith Nowak of MPT Drives, and Jim LaHaie of W.C. DuComb Co., spent time visiting business classes at the college to talk about industrial distribution careers and to interest students in the class.

Elements of Industrial Distribution was developed by ICP in 2008 with the guidance and knowledge of volunteer industry professionals. The course provides an overview of the industrial distribution business model so young people entering the field can “gain a fundamental understanding of the concepts that drive success,” according to ICP. Modules covering industrial distribution fundamentals, functional operations, marketing & profitability, and customer service & sales include 17-20 lessons each.

Individuals can purchase the course on their own as can employers who would like to administer the course to educate their younger and newer employees. Visit for more information.

-Bill O’Leary


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