WyoTech, a diesel tech and auto mechanic trade school, is aiming to increase its promotion of opportunities for careers as diesel technicians as the industry experiences a decline in qualified candidates, the school said.
The American Transportation Research Institute (ARTI) has named the ongoing diesel technician shortage as a top concern heading into 2022. This is especially worrying when considering estimations made by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which predicts that over 28,000 openings for diesel service technicians and mechanics will surface annually for the next 10 years. The TechForce Foundation also recently made a series of projections that suggested the demand for new entrant diesel technicians will rise to 35,000 openings by the year 2024.
In an effort to promote technician training and placement during this period of increasing demand, the ATRI has encouraged collaboration between motor carriers, diesel technician programs and schools and community colleges. The goal is to create an encompassing and comprehensive education for future diesel tech professionals, the organization said.
“The shortage of technicians is not a problem of the future, it is now. This has a large impact on not just C&B Operations, but on many other companies across the nation. It greatly impedes the ability of companies to repair products and return them to customers in a timely manner. Industry partners such as Wyotech have been a blessing producing quality students to bridge that gap of the supply meeting the demand,” said Adam Somers, Regional Human Resources Manager for C&B Operations.
Respondents in the TechForce Foundation study also approved of this strategy, with 55.6% expressing that the best approach to diesel technician recruitment involved the collaboration of schools and employers. Additionally, 14.2% of respondents suggested that focusing the industry’s efforts on military veterans, particularly those with experience working on military equipment, was the best recruitment strategy. This would involve employers and educational institutions assisting veterans directly, as well as participating in conjoined efforts with the U.S. Department of Labor Veterans’ Employment and Training Services, the organization said.
The desire for collaboration between motor carriers and technician schools is paramount for Laramie, Wyoming-based WyoTech, which recently played a key role in recruiting students for positions at a John Deere dealer. In an effort to continue its mission of providing students with the ability to turn their educational experiences into careers, WyoTech has prioritized the promotion of networking and career-focused events as a key part of its curriculum, the school said.
In addition to giving students the tools necessary to succeed within the field, WyoTech also hosts quarterly job fairs during which companies from across the country recruit candidates for technician roles in a variety of industries. While each individual WyoTech student is unique in terms of their background, skill sets and interests, WyoTech’s approach to training is universal in its ability to prepare every student with a strong professional foundation, school officials said, and the diesel mechanic school’s instructors make it a priority to give each individual student a chance to succeed within their respective classes.
“Collaboration between diesel tech schools – such as WyoTech – are vital to not only the industry, but also the current supply chain issues that are plaguing the nation,” said WyoTech President Jim Mathis. “The technical school industry, as well as the ATRI, knows the importance of the education and training we provide students and what it means for the industry as a whole. The more schools that can collaborate with employers and motor carriers, the better long-term outlook the industry has.”