After more than 15 years working in Global Trade and helping U.S. companies build their brands outside the U.S. Adilene Polis is hoping to instill the same passion for global trade in students across the South Central Coast Region.
Polis became Global Trade Deputy Sector Navigator in March and has already hit the ground running. She is working with industry to find skills gaps between what’s taught in the classroom and what’s needed to be successful on the job.
She is also working to build awareness about global trade as a career path and create pathways from high school to community college and into the job market.
“I’m working with teachers on dual enrollment classes to implement a module on Global Trade that brings awareness to students on career opportunities in this important sector,” Polis said. “It is very important to allow students to understand what careers are out there, and how global trade can be embedded in so many sectors.”
Polis is also facilitating meetings with faculty from community colleges in the South Central Coast region to discuss the benefits of internationalizing community college curriculum and the best content to help reduce skills gaps. In addition, she is organizing a conference in October that will bring industry and academics together to explore best practices of community colleges in the country that successfully internationalized their curriculum, job trends in global trade, skill gaps, career pathways, and Global E-Commerce.
“Global E-Commerce is a genie that can’t be put back in a bottle,” Polis added. “The numbers show how shopping online is growing and to consumers it does not matter if the source is local or across the border, as long the product is what they expect and for the price they consider fair. And this fast-moving category requires the workforce to be prepared for it.”
Before becoming DSN, Polis was the Senior International Business Development Manager for Paris Presents, which has brands such as Real Technique, Eco Tools, and Freeman. There, she built a solid global business to the brands, growing the international division over 85% in two years. She has extensive experience in logistics, regulatory, international market, and international pricing. Polis is a native of Brazil where she earned her bachelor’s degree from Pontifícia Universidade Católica de Campinas. And in Los Angeles, she completed the extension program at UCLA in Marketing and International Business.
The South Central Coast Region has an active global trade industry, including agriculture, aerospace, manufacturing, and fashion. Polis understands that the needs will be different across the colleges in her region depending on what employers require from new hires. To address this, she is working on a sector profile by micro-region, which will be a great source to faculty.
“Santa Barbara is different than Ventura, Santa Clarita and San Luis Obispo County. They all have very important global employers and sectors,” Polis said. “We need to examine the impact of trade in every region and continue to generate qualified workers for the region, so we don’t have to outsource and we continue to support the local economy.”