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UMSL Supply Chain Expert Reflects On Industry Possibilities, Lessons Of 2020

Evie Hemphill
St. Louis Public Radio
St. Louis ranks among the largest rail transportation centers in the U.S.

George Zsidisin studied political science and music in college. But he also participated in the Army ROTC, and after serving as a quartermaster of logistics in the military as a young man, he strayed from his initial academic interests. He reentered civilian life equipped with a different skill set, one he soon put to use in the world of supply chain management and research.

The supply chain is an aspect of life many people take entirely for granted — except when local stores run out of, say, toilet paper, hand sanitizer and food staples. But it’s a critical system that, even before 2020, has often meant the difference between life and death.

August Jennewein
University of Missouri-St. Louis
George Zsidisin is the director of the Supply Chain Risk and Resilience Institute at UMSL.

And if you ask Zsidisin, who now spends much of his time instructing aspiring supply chain professionals, he’ll tell you the job security in the industry is also a plus.

“People will always need stuff,” he said. “So I figured if I could get into a field where there’s always going to be a demand for it, well, that makes sense to me.”

Zsidisin, who directs the Supply Chain Risk and Resilience Institute at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, joined St. Louis on the Air host Sarah Fenske on Wednesday for a closer look at the supply chain.

He discussed why he hopes the new attention to his industry during the COVID-19 crisis makes its importance more visible to the general public — “all the work, the warehouses, the people working in retail, all the people doing deliveries” to keep life running smoothly.

Zsidisin joined UMSL as its John W. Barriger III Professor of Supply Chain Risk and Resilience in August 2019.

St. Louis on the Air” brings you the stories of St. Louis and the people who live, work and create in our region. The show is hosted by Sarah Fenske and produced by Alex Heuer, Emily Woodbury, Evie Hemphill and Lara Hamdan. The audio engineer is Aaron Doerr.

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Evie is a producer for "St. Louis on the Air" at St. Louis Public Radio.

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