Pictured, from left: Renee Felts, vice president for institutional advancement and workforce development at PDCCC; Scott Flanders, import redistribution center manager at Ace Hardware and co-founder of Hampton Roads LogistXGames; Lang Williams, CBRE Hampton Roads senior vice president and co-founder of Hampton Roads LogistXGames; LaVerne Ellerbe, director of TCC Educational Foundation.
No skis, no snow, no skateboards, either. But X Games fun came to Suffolk all for the good cause of raising scholarship money for workforce development programs at Tidewater Community College and Paul D. Camp Community College.
At the Hampton Roads LogistXGames, local logistics industry workers went head-to-head in events that included the pallet puzzle sprint, pallet jack relay, pick/pack hurdle and a box put. Translated that means teams of three competed in tasks that ranged from folding, packing and stacking boxes as fast as possible and sprinting to shelves to place items in their proper locations. Relays around obstacles? That was part of the morning, too.
Held in a warehouse at Virginia Regional Commerce Park, the LogistXGames is an unorthodox way to create camaraderie among employees from participating companies Damco, Lineage, Expeditors, The Port of Virginia, Givens Logistics, Keurig Green Mountain, Target, QVC, Tidewater Staffing, CBRE Hampton Roads, Remedy and World Market.
“I love the environment and everything that goes on,” said Quanisha Bates, a distribution operator at QVC who is pursuing an Associate of Science in Science at TCC. “We give back while the colleges give back. It is just a great opportunity for everyone.”
On the leaderboard, Givens Logistics from Chesapeake claimed “Gold,” or in this case the Golden Pallet, followed by Keurig Green Mountain and Damco.
“It is definitely a unique event,” said Lang Williams, CBRE Hampton Roads senior vice president and co-founder of the event, now in its fifth year. “Most of the warehouse workforce doesn’t get to go out on sales calls or participate in teambuilding experiences other than in their own facilities. These games give them the chance to show company pride and learn more about other companies in the area.”
The games raked in $33,000 for scholarships. TCC’s portion will be used to support veterans in the college’s Truck Driver Training Program.
“We wanted to keep the fundraiser very centric to logistics,” said Kevin Hughes, Suffolk’s director of economic development. “There is an opportunity to encourage more people to get into it, to be trained and to grow the industry. So, as our workforce partners in the commonwealth and in the region, TCC and Paul D. Camp are a natural fit. Both colleges have logistics programs and want to grow them. They are in the heart of this thing.”
TCC offers an Associate of Applied Science in Management with a Specialization in Maritime Logistics. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts the demand for skilled logisticians will grow by 26 percent from 2010 to 2020.