JA Canada Partners With Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council (CSCSC)

September 20, 2011, Mississauga, Ontario– The Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council has partnered with Junior Achievement of Canada (JACAN) to deliver supply chain career information to students across Canada. With JA’s tremendous reach, the Council’s opportunity to build awareness of supply chain careers has thereby expanded enormously.

For over 55 years, JA financial-literacy, work-readiness and entrepreneurial programs have been helping young Canadians discover their highest potential. Reaching over 230,000 students annually through 13,000 dedicated business volunteers in more than 400 communities across Canada, over 3.7 million students have participated in JACAN programs since the organization’s inception. And, with an annual rate of return of $45 for every $1 invested, in terms of helping youth stay in school, encouraging new business and providing the skills needed to participate and succeed in today’s global economy, Junior Achievers contribute $535 million to the Canadian economy each year. That is to say, a $25 donation will have an estimated annual return on Canada’s economy of $1,125.

Stakeholders in Canada’s supply chain can now make financial donations – of any size – to contribute to making this partnership effective. All donations to the new Don Borsk Canadian Supply Chain Career Awareness Fund will finance the participation of supply chain practitioners in delivering JA programs, with an emphasis on their experiences in supply chain roles. Donations to this charitable fund of as little as five or ten dollars will add to the Council’s ability to share information with students and teachers about supply chain careers. Donations to the fund can be made at www.jacan.org/CSCSC.

JACAN programs are delivered within the school system by volunteers who share their expertise in and enthusiasm for the work they do. Students in all grades from 3 to 12 benefit from the exposure to the world of work that those volunteers provide. “Achievers” not only develop skills in teamwork, decision-making, problem-solving, communication and critical thinking, but also learn about a wide variety of careers that they might otherwise be unaware of. By working with JA, the Council can demystify supply chain careers for young people as they consider their future paths. This partnership places careers in our sector in front of a wide audience of Canada’s youth, and does so utilizing a network of locally driven education partnerships known for their high-quality curriculum, training and support to volunteers.

Employers in Canada’s supply chain sector are faced with a labour force that is largely unaware of the sector’s opportunities and unprepared to fill available jobs. Employers need more workers with better skills. All kinds of groups in the sector have been grappling with how to get into the schools to inform students and their parents, as well as teachers and guidance counsellors, about the myriad career possibilities in the supply chain. The Council’s partnership with JACAN is an important step toward meeting that need.

To place a volunteer (a “mentor” in JA terminology) in a classroom to deliver a JA program involves costs for training, and materials provided to students, volunteers and teachers. JA’s regular funding model calls for volunteers to not only offer their time to deliver a program, but also provide the funds to enable that delivery (in most cases, from their employers). Creation by the CSCSC of the Don Borsk Canadian Supply Chain Career Awareness Fund is intended to allow individuals to volunteer their time supported by the collective contributions of their peers. And, it makes it possible for people who want to contribute, but don’t have the time to do so, to make donations that enable others to volunteer.

Volunteers – and their employers – benefit from their participation, just as the students do. Volunteers improve their presentation, communication and time-management skills and gain confidence. They hone their leadership and conflict-management abilities. They are, in effect, acquiring training through the volunteering experience. And, their efforts may, in the long run, help their companies find keen, skilled new workers, people who have chosen to build a career in the supply chain.

Anyone interested in sharing their knowledge about and passion for the supply chain through a JA program or in finding out more about donating to the Don Borsk Canadian Supply Chain Career Awareness Fund should contact Kim Biggar, at 905-897-6700, 1-866-616-3468 or kbiggar@supplychaincanada.org.

Don Borskwas a founding member and is now past Chair of the Board of the Canadian Supply Chain Sector Council. In that role, he was central to the establishment of the Council. Don served as Chair from 2006 to 2010.

Don is Chief Operating Office of Metro Retail Supply Chain Solutions, a third-party supply chain provider dedicated to servicing the retail industry. Previously, he was President of Supply Chain Management Inc., a third-party logistics company that supplies general-merchandise logistics services to Wal-Mart Canada Corp. across Canada. He has worked as the COO of a series of Peterbilt Truck dealerships and as a consultant in the logistics industry.

After acquiring a degree in mechanical engineering, Don started his career in industrial marketing in the oil industry. His career took him into the world of distribution and transportation. Successively, he held positions of increasing responsibility in the logistics and supply chain functions of major retail consumer-goods companies, handling both food and general-merchandise products.

Don is a past Chairman of Supply Chain & Logistics Association Canada, and was named its Logistics Professional of the Year in 2004. He is also involved at the board level with sports for the physically disabled.