LEHIGH VALLEY, Penn. — In light of the industry’s shortage of trained technicians, Mack Trucks is launching a new program to help dealers find, train and retain the next generation of skilled technicians.
"Dealers today are facing a double challenge they’re confronted with this severe shortage of qualified help, yet they don’t have the time or resources to systematically address it," said Al Hertzog, director of the North American Institute, the dealer and customer training operation for Mack. "The Technician Recruitment Program is designed to bridge this gap."
The program includes the introduction of a Technician Recruitment Kit which contains materials and advice aimed at convincing young people to consider becoming a truck technician. A recruitment guide, brochures, video and PowerPoint presentation are all included. They each focus on the benefits of a career in the truck repair field. The kit will target high school students, Mack officials say.
"Many of them believe that a four-year college degree is their only option," Hertzog said. "They have this image of the ‘dirty mechanic.’ We need to make young people understand that with the advent of advanced electronics, computerized diagnostics and other technologies, the nature of the job has changed dramatically. Working on trucks today provides a great way to make a good living doing something you enjoy."
Once students decide they are interested in a career as a truck technician, the next step is to properly train them and ensure they don’t live to regret their choice, organizers said.
"That’s a critical part of the overall strategy," Hertzog said. "It’s not enough just to bring them in the door. New recruits need proper training to be effective. Dealers have told us that what they need most right now are technicians with basic computer and technical skills. They’re looking for people who can remove and replace water pumps, alternators and wheel seals, for example, and do basic brake overhauls, and at the same time be familiar enough with computers to program an electronic control module in a truck. So it’s these basic skills that are the focus of our new course."
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