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UWF graduate makes her mark at Marten Transport

University of West Florida | news@uwf.edu

UWF graduate makes her mark at Marten Transport

After graduating from the supply chain logistics program at UWF, DaCotah Ledbetter landed a job at Marten Transport. Less than a year later, she has helped start a new division, received a promotion and embodied UWF’s goal of producing workforce-ready graduates. 

During her short tenure with Marten Transport, Ledbetter has also helped three additional graduates get hired in Florida, Georgia and Virginia. She said the company is growing fast, and is looking to hire more UWF graduates.

Ledbetter’s early curiosity about how things work led her to choose her degree.

“I always asked my mom growing up ‘why’ when it came to how things were made and how things got to where they are,” Ledbetter said. “My degree finally helps me explain what my mom could not.”

As a junior, Ledbetter attended the Spring Career Showcase, a Career Development and Community Engagement event in the UWF College of Business. The following year, a Marten recruiter remembered her, and set up two phone interviews in the same week. By the end of the week, she landed a job.

“What stood out to my employers was the amount of knowledge I had coming out of the supply chain logistics program at UWF, as well as the amount of field research professors allow students to join in on,” Ledbetter said. “Now, Marten is looking into hiring more UWF graduates due to how impressed they were with what I have learned from the program and how much they enjoyed the career fair at UWF.”

Ledbetter now serves as the Southeast Dry Account Manager for Marten at the Georgia Terminal near Atlanta. Marten Transport started in 1946 as a small milk delivery operation in Wisconsin. Today, its primary business is refrigerated truckloads. When the company expanded into the dry truckload business, she saw the opportunity to be part of a growing fleet.

As Marten grows, the company plans to continue hiring UWF graduates, because students coming out of the business program are highly qualified.

“Students graduating from UWF are the next leaders of their respective industries, and they are graduating with knowledge that allows them to excel in their fields,” Ledbetter said. “Marten is proud to say that we hire UWF graduates. Marten Transport has chosen to continue to choose UWF due to the quality alumni that are coming into the workforce.”

In Fall 2015, UWF launched a standalone B.S.B.A. degree program in supply chain logistics management in response to student and workforce demand. Two years later, the University announced the Center for Supply Chain Management Excellence, housed within the College of Business, to further enhance unique learning and networking opportunities.

According to Ledbetter, the small classroom atmosphere at UWF allowed for one-on-one communication with instructors who are professionals in their fields. Through the Supply Chain Logistics Association student chapter, members attend events at ports, distribution centers and manufacturers to learn about day-to-day procedures. During these on-site visits, students are encouraged to help businesses solve problems they face. There are also numerous programs on campus for networking, including the Executive Mentor Program and the American Marketing Association.

“The skill sets I learned at UWF have allowed me to excel in my career,” Ledbetter said. “From my mentor Amy Miller, who I was connected with through the Executive Mentor Program, to my instructors’ guidance in the field working with local logistics businesses to help solve real-world problems, I can ultimately say that without UWF, I do not believe I could be where I am today in my career.”

Ledbetter is now part of an open partnership with the UWF Center for Supply Chain Management Excellence, working alongside faculty and staff to network with students and foster a more personable approach to the hiring process.

For more information about UWF graduates entering the workforce, visit uwf.edu/ihire.

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