RED OAK — Texas State Technical College's Logistics Technology program recently received a manufacturing operations training system through a Texas Workforce Commission grant.

"It walks you through the manufacturing process, from raw materials to the final products being shipped," said William Scott, a TSTC Logistics Technology instructor. "Our students can get trained on logistics in a manufacturing environment."

The $235,000 equipment will be used by students taking Introduction to Materials Handling, Materials Requirement Planning and Warehouse and Distribution Center Management for the Associate of Applied Science degree in Logistics Technology. Students will learn how to turn the machinery on, troubleshoot and operate the system. Scott described the machinery as a new experience for students.

"I've always wanted this since the inception of the program," Scott said. "Manufacturing logistics is an added arm of the program."

TSTC is poised to meet increased logistics demands in Ellis County. Some of the jobs that Logistics Technology graduates can pursue include purchasing, warehouse dock management, dispatching and inventory control.

Logistics and distribution are one of the target industries for the City of Red Oak. National Freight Industries has at least 70 employees working in logistics and warehousing at a 60,000-square-foot facility on Bowie Drive, according to the city's economic development office. Lee McCleary, Red Oak's economic development director, said the company has plans to build a new 117,000-square-foot structure next to the current building.

"NFI conducts business with multiple locations nationwide," McCleary said. "NFI is the logistics and warehousing provider for Triumph Aerostructures - Red Oak."

And in Waxahachie, Walgreens has a distribution center with less than 1,000 employees, according to the city's economic development office.

"The Logistics Technology program was specifically chosen and developed for TSTC in North Texas given the local workforce needs," said Provost Marcus Balch. "We're training using the latest technology, including drones and radio-frequency identification technology."

TSTC graduated its first group of Logistics Technology majors in December 2015.

TSTC in North Texas will host a Registration Rally for the fall semester from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 8. For more information, go to tstc.edu/rally.

For more information on Texas State Technical College, visit tstc.edu.