STC Kicks Off Certified Customs Specialist Program for Students
South Texas College and the National Customs Brokers Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) Educational Institute signed an agreement officially launching a Certified Broker Specialist Certification at STC Thursday. the official partnership agreement with NEI begins recruitment efforts for students into the program.
South Texas College announced its latest partnership agreement, launching a Certified Customs Specialist Certification to be facilitated by the National Customs Brokers Forwarders Association of America (NCBFAA) Educational Institute, or NEI for short.
It’s only the beginning of an ever-growing list of opportunities available for students as STC continues to respond to the needs of industry through short-term certificates and specialties.
At a special ceremony Thursday, South Texas College president Dr. Ricardo J. Solis signed the official partnership agreement and participated in a program ribbon cutting with NEI that begins recruitment efforts for students.
In attendance at the ceremony was NEI director Federico Zuniga, Mid Valley Customs Brokers Association (MVCBA) president Robert Vale, former MVCBA president Adrian Gonzalez, and McAllen Mayor Javier Villalobos.
“We are driven by creativity, innovation and responsiveness,” Solis told attendees at the event. “We are now clearly uniting our forces to be able to combat what’s taking place in this whole global market. We know we are challenged by supply chains, just-in-time inventory, off-shoring, and most importantly lack of skilled personnel, which we have seen in every industry. This is a perfect example of how a certificate, in this case one for a Customs Specialist, can clearly send a message saying this is what it’s going to take to meet the needs of industry and especially the growth needs of the Valley. This is just the beginning.”
“Students will essentially be able to come now to South Texas College and receive a national credential as a broker specialist. The specialist course is an introductory level course that gives individuals a certification with a very broad knowledge of the industry and specifically the management of the logistics involved in imports.
Customs brokers include private individuals, partnerships, associations or corporations that are licensed and regulated by U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to assist importers and exporters in meeting federal requirements governing imports and exports.
As part of the job, brokers oversee transactions related to customs entry and admissibility of merchandise, product classification, customs valuation, payment of duties, taxes, or other charges such as refunds, rebates, and duty drawbacks.
The certification program established by STC plans to transition certified customs brokers into the workforce within four weeks for full-time students, and within six to eight weeks for part-time students.
“Students will essentially be able to come now to South Texas College and receive a national credential as a broker specialist,” said Dr. Carlos Margo, STC Associate Dean for Industry Training and Economic Development. “The specialist course is an introductory level course that gives individuals a certification with a very broad knowledge of the industry and specifically the management of the logistics involved in imports. We expect a lot of current incumbent employees working for brokers to come and take the certification. They're already in the industry and they do need a certification so we will facilitate that process.”
STC will begin by targeting those already working in the industry before enacting Phase II, which targets interested high school students. NEI Director Zuniga emphasized a goal to introduce a new generation into international trade.
“A global economy is the future. Without the smooth movement of goods through an international border our economy would suffer. We are at the hub of that process,” Zuniga said. “With every trade sanction, with every free trade agreement, with every incoming administration there is always a new set of rules that comes along with it and we have to stay on top of that. As a trade profession, we have to be professional enough to require that responsibility of ourselves to always stay on top of these regulations, and this was the basis for the creation of the educational institute.”
Texas Workforce Solutions Skills for Small Business program can make grants available for students entering the program.
For more information, students can visit STC Advanced Manufacturing or call 956-872-6223.