Transportation, logistics and distribution. Sounds boring, but today it equates to innovations such as robotics, drones and online tracking. The industry could be your kid's best shot at success later in life.

Katherine Braun sorts packages toward the right shipping area at an fulfillment center in Goodyear, Ariz. fulfillment center (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin, File)

Fueled largely by a major shift toward online shopping, TLD is considered one of the key industries in New Jersey, and one that has had to restructure itself and continues to do so. It employs about 370,000 private-sector workers, making an estimated $27 billion in wages, and those numbers grow by the minute.

According to Jeffrey Stoller, assistant commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the industry's subsector of warehousing gained 7,000 jobs between 2005 and 2015. It's estimated that another 7,000 were gained in just the past year.

"About two-thirds of the TLD sector is really involved with logistical distribution warehousing," Stoller said. "A third of it would be involved in normal, straightforward transportation jobs — air, couriers, rail, trucking."

The industry was the sole focus a state-sponsored summit in Newark on Thursday. Education, business and government leaders came together to address skill gaps that may exist in the current labor market or among future workers.

"The immediate need is to help the employers meet their needs and hire people here in the state, but it’s also helping to educate all the other players to help them understand the specific needs, specific skills, specific occupations that employers are looking for," Stoller explained.

Stoller noted colleges are directly involved with providing training that is more industry-specific, and are partnering with businesses in the industry. There's a push for creation of more apprenticeship and internship opportunities for students — experience gained out of the classroom.

TLD is one of seven industries earning its own summit this month. Along with TLD, 72 percent of workers in the state are employed in the key industries of advanced manufacturing; financial services; health care; life sciences; retail, hospitality & tourism; and technology.

New Jersey hopes to have 65 percent of its workforce equipped with a college degree or industry-valued credential by the year 2025. Fifty percent of the state's workforce currently meets the criteria.

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