WFLO Institute Marks 57th Anniversary

The world’s best cold chain logistics training program, now in four global locations, continues with virtual learning.

This year marks the 57th anniversary of the very first WFLO Institute held in Norman, Oklahoma – the home of the University of Oklahoma.

This three-year, industry-specific program for professionals engaged in temperaturecontrolled logistics, offers more than 40 classes taught by leading experts in the industry. The curriculum takes students through cold chain management, customer service, employee safety, food safety, warehouse operations, transportation operations and professional development. By 2009, the WFLO Institute had outgrown Norman and moved to a new home at the Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center in Atlanta, Georgia, United States. This new facility allowed for more students to participate in the Institute and offered a connection to Georgia Tech’s renowned Logistics and Supply Chain program. In recent years, WFLO has provided opportunities for Georgia Tech students to participate in the Institute as a way to generate broader interest in a career in the cold chain. In 2014, due to interest from members in the region, WFLO launched the first Latin America Institute held in Costa Rica. The WFLO Latin America Institute is now held each year in Mexico City and has grown to host more than 65 students.

While the 2020 Year 1 and Year 2 program had to be postponed to 2021, WFLO was able to run the Year 3 program virtually and graduate 12 individuals from the program. Over the years, the growth of the program continued and by 2017, the Institute had grown so much that the WFLO Board made the decision to hold two Institutes in the United States to allow for a valuable onsite experience and more participation. Thus was born the East and West Institutes. The WFLO Institute East is continuing at Georgia Tech and the West Coast Institute is now running at the Tempe Mission Palms Hotel and Conference Center, adjacent to the campus of Arizona State University where the top ranked W. P. Carey School of Business in located. The East and West Institutes now host well over 500 students in total each year. And one trend that is hard to ignore is the number of women in the cold chain. 

The participation of female students at Institute has grown by over 300% in five years and all indications show that trend will continue, certainly in the United States. In 2019, the first ever WFLO Institute was held in Melbourne, Australia, with over 35 students participating in Year 1 courses. WFLO planned to hold Year 1 and Year 2 of the Institute in Melbourne in 2020, but had to cancel the program due to COVID-19. WFLO intends to run Year 1 and 2 in Melbourne, in October 2021. The WFLO Institute classroom experience continues to grow with these four global locations and more planned for the future. It is the world’s best cold chain logistics training program to develop your company’s most important asset – talent. 

Source: Cold Facts Mar/Apr 2021 issue