Gerald W. Evans
University of Louisville
A major problem encountered in many reverse logistics systems involves the acquisition, training (and timely scheduling of that training) of workforce personnel. These activities must be accomplished in an environment involving multiple projects, each consisting of multiple tasks (with various types of precedence relationships), requiring personnel with various skills and associated skill levels. Decisions which must be made include which workers to train, the types and amounts of training to give to each respective worker, and the scheduling of the tasks of the projects. These decisions must be made in a dynamic environment, involving (uncertain) forecasts of future workload, changing project priorities, and fluctuating workforce levels. In addition, tradeoffs among a variety of objectives must be considered, including task/project finish dates, training costs, worker preferences, and resulting workforce skill levels.