While the driver shortage works its way into public consciousness with segments on cable news and articles in the Wall Street Journal, the looming aftermarket talent gap remains unknown outside of the industry.
There are great jobs and career opportunities the aftermarket the average college graduate simply doesn’t know about. That’s something OEM, suppliers and aftermarket businesses hope to change.
Steve Crowley, president and CEO at VIPAR Heavy Duty, says his organization is working to create a young leaders group to provide a format to deliver leadership and management development content as well as networking opportunities to its young members. By creating a comfortable environment, Crowley hopes the industry’s youngsters will remain grounded in the aftermarket and try to recruit in more young talent.
And the talent gap isn’t just limited to parts sales. Almost a third of TP&S reader survey responders say the average age of their service technicians are 45 or older. Only 8 percent say their techs average 30 years old or less.
“You don’t see too many younger guys coming up in the industry anymore,” says Jim Pascale, president at Pascale Service Corporation. “I don’t know if they aren’t looking at [our] industry or if they’re just being pushed into other areas.”
Vince Mathews, president at Capitol Clutch & Brake, says the aftermarket needs to reach out to schools and promote the career opportunities the industry has to offer.
“It’s just so difficult to get talent into this industry anymore,” he says. “We really have to promote the long-term options we have and hope word will spread.”