The Containerization and Intermodal Institute (CII), the Cranford-based non-profit organization that promotes intermodal industry awareness and preserves its history, is expanding its education mission with the introduction of the CII Academic Advisory Committee. The new group is made up of eight well-respected educators in the fields of supply chain and transportation and two transportation industry leaders from the CII board.
Co-chairs of the new committee are Dr. Anil Vitarana, former president of United Arab Shipping Co., and Rob Cannizzaro, vice president of operations for Virginia International Terminals. Both are longtime board members of the 62-year-old organization. The other members of the advisory committee are all from academia and are:
Joining the group is Lisa Aurichio, CII executive director, and June Chin of the executive director’s office.
Since the scholarship program was founded in 1992, more than $1 million has been distributed to students studying supply chain and transportation. “Through our scholarship program, CII has helped some 300 students continue or even complete their education, which put them on the path to a career in transportation and supply chain,” said Steven Blust, CII president, in announcing the academic board. “We believe that it is important to the supply chain and transportation industry to continue expansion of the CII scholarship program, and that the new advisory committee from academia will provide valuable insight and guidance to CII in these efforts.”
The scholarships are customarily presented at CII’s Connie Award events, which take place in Newark, NJ and Long Beach, CA. Efforts have been concentrated in these markets. During COVID, CII expanded its reach to schools outside of the NJ and California markets and would like to continue to build on this foundation. It was essential that the advisory committee be comprised of academic leaders from diverse geographic areas.
Additionally, during COVID, CII conducted a webinar that brought academia and industry leaders together to initiate a dialogue about building the workforce of the future. This initiative provided a glimpse into the need to provide a platform that continues that conversation between schools and industry so students are prepared to bring the supply chain into the future. CII’s goal is for the advisory committee to form a strong connection between the industry and academia.
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