Combating the trucking industry’s growing technician shortage, Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) and its International® dealer network have launched a new integrated program to supply accredited technical schools with training equipment and real-world advisory counsel.
Navistar has a long history of donating International® trucks, engines and other equipment to technical schools nationwide. The new program builds on this foundation by engaging the company’s vast dealer network to donate vehicles, serve on school advisory committees that assist in curriculum development, and provide students with career opportunities.
“This new approach is aimed at combating the growing technician shortage by combining vehicle donations with the powerful insights of our dealer personnel,” said Ana Salcido, manager, Technician Recruitment, Navistar. “Our dealer network will grow their relationships with technical schools, enabling students to learn rapidly on pertinent equipment while also discovering a rewarding and lucrative career.”
Recent donations by International dealers include:
- An International® ProStar® to Western Technical College in La Crosse, Wisc., by DeBauche Truck & Diesel;
- An International® WorkStar® to Mid-State Technical College, in Wisconsin Rapids, Wisc., by Mid-State Truck Service, Inc.;
- And an International® ProStar+® 113 to Chippewa Valley Technical College in Eau Claire, Wisc., by Mid-State Truck Service, Inc.
“Among our six Wisconsin-based locations, we actively participate in three local technical training programs and many high school shop courses,” said Scott Hoffman, director of service, Mid-State Truck Service, Inc. “Sustaining students’ career interest in becoming heavy-duty technicians is essential to our industry. We feel it’s our responsibility to help attract applicants to the field and provide them with proper technical training, relevant equipment and career opportunities.”
Ryan Kawski, dean of Advanced Manufacturing & Engineering and Transportation, Agriculture, Natural Resources & Construction at Mid-State Technical College, echoed the importance of a strong dealer relationship.
“Mid-State Truck Service has been a long-time member of the advisory committee for our Diesel & Heavy Equipment Technician programs,” Kawski said. “Their involvement ensures we’re properly preparing our students to best serve their future employer and, ultimately, the end customer.”
“Donations of late-model equipment keep our program relevant and competitive,” Kawski continued. “For example, the International WorkStar we received from Mid-State Truck Service has an automatic transmission and pneumatic disc brakes. Receiving this kind of costly equipment as a donation frees up funds for other needed program-related expenses.”
The demand for quality heavy-duty technicians is growing, and the supply of new entrants to the field has failed to meet current industry needs. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, overall employment of heavy vehicle and mobile equipment service technicians is projected to grow 4 percent from 2018 to 2028. In order to backfill for technicians who are reaching retirement age or leaving the industry, the TechForce Foundation estimates the need to fill more than 25,000 replacement positions annually from 2020 through 2022.
“Navistar and our dealer network are fully committed to customer uptime and having skilled technicians in the service department is a key component of that uptime promise,” said Salcido. “We’re thankful to be able to contribute to educational programs across the country that provide students with skills and certifications to achieve a meaningful and sought-after career.”
Visit www.InternationalTrucks.com/dealernetwork to find a nearby dealer.
Navistar International Corporation (NYSE: NAV) is a holding company whose subsidiaries and affiliates produce International® brand commercial trucks, proprietary diesel engines, and IC Bus® brand school and commercial buses. An affiliate also provides truck and diesel engine service parts. Another affiliate offers financing services. Additional information is available at www.Navistar.com.