Recently, the University of Nevada, Reno's Northern Nevada International Center, a nonprofit leading northern Nevada’s global engagement, had the honor of bringing 10 supply chain professionals from Korea to the state through a program run in conjunction with the United States Embassy in Seoul. The U.S. - ROK Global Supply Chain Leaders Program was an international exchange program that offered participants the chance to complete a study tour with stops in Austin, Texas, Silicon Valley, California and Reno, Nevada. The program is designed to foster broader awareness of the U.S. - ROK bilateral trade relationship, and to gain a deeper understanding of how the two countries create secure, sustainable and resilient global supply chains.
Participants were selected by the U.S. Embassy in Seoul and were privy to tours of internationally known companies leading the charge when it comes to supply chain best practices and standard operating procedures. All who were selected were prominent Korean professionals with a vested interest in improving operations within their country and respective industries.
“Thanks to its dominance with certain precious resources in the technology industry, Nevada is quickly becoming a leader in supply chain best practices,” said Kevin Sung, international development specialist at NNIC. “We’re in a unique position to share industry expertise, and thanks to our partnership with the University of Nevada, Reno, we were able to drill into some of the concepts that will help Korea strengthen its supply chain management as it looks for ways to protect against disruptions in the future.”
NNIC partnered with the University’s College of Business to provide participants with several workshops, illuminating how Nevada industries have managed to lead the charge in supply chain innovations prior to and especially after the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, participants were able to visit sites in Reno like the Tesla Gigafactory and the Patagonia distribution center, in addition to site visits in Silicon Valley and Austin. In Reno, they were lucky enough to visit the Governor’s mansion in Carson City thanks to the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), where the group was able to learn more about advocating for policies that will improve supply chain efficiencies, as well as how the state conducts efforts to attract international companies that can improve the economy.
Now that the participants are back home, Sung says they continue to connect to discuss how they are implementing their learnings from their time in the United States, and Reno, into practice.
“The group touches base consistently, troubleshooting and revisiting the concepts they learned at the University,” said Sung. “They’re consistently citing the knowledge they learned at the University and we expect a lot of this information will help develop the best practices that enable Korea to improve efficiencies and economies. We’re honored to have worked with the University to bring such a powerful program through the country while we bolster relations with the Republic of Korea.”
This is the second exchange initiative the nonprofit has embarked upon with the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. The first was the Young Climate Activists Exchange Program, which was designed to bring young climate activists together to diplomatically explore methods for counteracting climate change. The U.S.-ROK Global Supply Chain Leaders Program is supported and funded by grants from the United States Embassy in Seoul and supported in its implementation by the NNIC. The opinions, findings and conclusions stated herein are those of the Northern Nevada International Center and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Embassy Seoul.