SEPTEMBER 21, 2015

JAMESTOWN, N.C. — Khali Bailey was tired of working in the fast food industry.

“You work hard all day and you don’t see it in your pay,” said Bailey 35 of Greensboro.

Her desire to go back to school led her to GTCC’s website where she stumbled upon Global Logistics Technology, a degree she had never heard of, but the name drew her in.

“Global Logistics Technology just sounded really smart,” she said, laughing. “I Googled it to see what jobs were offered and there were like a billion jobs. Plus, I like numbers, so it made sense to do that.”

Khali Bailey graduated from GTCC in May 2015 with an associate degree in Global Logistics Technology.

Khali Bailey graduated from GTCC in May 2015 with an associate degree in Global Logistics Technology.

Bailey graduated from GTCC in May 2015 with an associate degree in global logistics technology. Two months later, she landed a job as a purchasing agent for Karl Mayer, a textile manufacturing company in Greensboro, and trained for two weeks at the company’s headquarters in Germany. It was her first time out of the country. As someone who thrives on variety and challenges, global logistics was a perfect fit for her.

“It’s different every single day. It’s exciting, it’s fast pace,” she said. “I don’t think I would have gotten the job if I didn’t have SAP.”

SAP is a global business software used in a variety of disciplines including logistics. The software has become so widely used that earning an SAP certificate has become a preferred credential among employees in the industry. Locally, corporations such as Syngenta, Honda Aircraft and Volvo use the software.

“It’s like the Coco-Cola of software companies; it’s everywhere,” said Sam Chinnis, department chair of global logistics at GTCC.

GTCC began offering SAP student certification in fall 2014 after Chinnis recognized the local and global need in the logistics industry to hire employees with SAP knowledge. The software allows purchasers, for example, to perform tasks such as setting up a new vendor, getting a quote or issuing an order. The SAP curriculum is woven into three courses in the Global Logistics degree program: supply chain management, purchasing management and advanced global logistics.

Located on the Cameron Campus, GTCC's logistics warehouse lab gives students hands-on experience.

Located on the Cameron Campus, GTCC’s logistics warehouse lab gives students hands-on experience.

“They learn the whole business process and all the transactions that need to happen,” Chinnis said. “Students have been out there job-hunting and they see the need. They know that having an SAP certificate means something.”

In spring 2015, 12 students became the first at the college to receive an SAP certificate. Bailey was one of them, and the significance of the credential is not lost on her.

“SAP is very important,” Bailey said. “If you’re going to be in logistics, you might as well learn. It’s the future.”

U.S. News & World Report’s 100 Best Jobs list ranks logisticians as No. 26.  Employment of logisticians is projected to grow 22 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. The agency reports that the median annual wage for logisticians was $72,780 in May 2012.

Now that Bailey has a steady full-time job that pays well, she is financial able to pursue a bachelor’s degree in global supply chain at DeVry University, something that didn’t seem attainable before coming to GTCC. Her short-term goal is to become a controller, and then work her way up to the highest level, she said. As far as the future of the logistics industry, Bailey is hopeful.

“It’s growing and growing,” she said. “You can’t live without it.”

Guilford Technical Community College is the third largest of 58 institutions in the NC Community College System. GTCC serves more than 40,000 students annually from five campuses and a Small Business Center. Learn more at


— Carla Kucinski/GTCC