February 11, 2013
Compensation isn’t the only issue heavy-duty service providers are facing with their technicians.
The number of students training for heavy-duty technician careers is growing. Service providers need to reach out to these students to bring them into their facilities.
According to Thomas M. James, president and CEO at the Truck Renting and Leasing Association, approximately 40-50 percent of heavy-duty technicians will retire in the next 15 years. Some already are leaving the industry. The number of technicians entering the industry is dwarfed by those retiring.
Getting involved with area trade schools and colleges are excellent ways to find a new employee base.
“I don’t think the gap is going to go away in a short time,” says Ray Wheeling, vice president of advanced training at Universal Technical Institute. “It is going to be here for a while.” Wheeling says that requires employers to compete for trained students in an effort to fill positions.
“I think businesses have to recruit. [They] have to actively go to the schools and meet the students,” he says.
Organizations like Universal Technical Institute and Skills USA are providing courses for those interested in entering the heavy-duty technician workforce.
Publicizing the technician shortage is a good thing, adds Tim Lawrence, executive director at SkillsUSA.
“The technician issue is a worldwide issue. There are thousands of people retiring out of the industry every day,” he says. “I think associations bringing people together to address the issue is a good sign. It’s good to see that happening because it means people are becoming aware.”