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Prologis Tackles Labor Shortage Concerns With CWI Program

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Industrial REIT Prologis Inc. (PLD - Free Report) has rolled out the Prologis Community Workforce Initiative (CWI), and a Southern California non-profit organization — EXP — has been signed as the first CWI partner of the former. This move comes amid e-commerce boom, growth of the logistic real estate market at a substantial pace, while shortage of labor remains a pressing concern.

The initiative involves the company’s partnership with local workforce programs in order to offer mentorship, skills training and internships, as well as job-placement services for people interested in building their careers in the logistics, distribution and transportation sectors. These sectors are currently facing a major shortage of labor.

Particularly, EXP, which unites high school students to high-growth jobs, and Prologis have jointly launched the "EXP Internship Program: Powered by Prologis”. Through this program, 160 high school students from the communities neighboring the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach will be placed in trade internships within the area. There will be job-skills training workshops with inputs from Prologis, as well as career guidance from industry officials.

Such efforts will not only benefit the communities where Prologis operates, but more importantly, will aid its clients tackle their labor requirements. The company already has plans to reach other cities with CWI and especially targets those regions where it enjoys significant development and operations.

Of late, industrial REITs have been gaining traction as high consumer spending, strengthening e-commerce market, and a healthy manufacturing environment amid recovering economy and job market are spurring demand for this real estate category.

Per a study by the commercial real estate services firm — CBRE Group Inc. (CBRE - Free Report) — availability rate for the U.S. industrial real estate market in Q2 shrunk 10 basis points (bps) to 7.2%, denoting the lowest level since Q4 2000. Additionally, with demand surpassing new supply, net asking rents inched up 1.7% in Q2 to $7.11 per square feet — marking the highest level since 1989.

This is significantly driving growth of industrial REITs like Liberty Property Trust (LPT - Free Report) , Prologis and Duke Realty Corp. (DRE - Free Report) . Moreover, amid fast pace of e-commerce growth, CBRE Group forecasts demand for another 452,000 warehouses and distribution workers in the United States for this year and the next.

Prologis currently has a Zacks Rank #2 (Buy). The company’s shares have appreciated 5.7% in three months’ time compared with its industry’s growth of 3.8%. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.


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