- Penske joined the TechForce Foundation’s FutureTech Success campaign to raise student awareness of opportunities as vehicle technicians, according to a press release from Penske Truck Leasing.
- FutureTech Success will roll out a national, multi-year, multimedia campaign in the U.S. to reach potential technicians and show that the trades can be a satisfying career.
- "It is important that parents and educators are informed about the great careers available in transportation, since they often influence the post-secondary choices of young people," Jennifer Maher, executive director at the TechForce Foundation, said in the release.
In its latest assessment, TechForce said the trucking industry will need almost 300,000 new technicians over the next 10 years to meet increasing demand.
A quick glance at the Penske Truck Leasing website shows openings for more than 610 truck maintenance jobs available in the U.S. and Canada, with more than 400 of them in diesel technology. Penske, which has a North American fleet of more than 298,000 vehicles and a truck maintenance workforce of around 8,000 people, needs to find new technicians, as its older employees near retirement.
"We’ve seen our traditional pipeline get thinner and thinner," Gregg Mangione, Senior VP Maintenance for Penske Truck Leasing, told Supply Chain Dive. "And it won’t get any easier. The paradigm is that this is a dirty job. We’ve called them technicians for some time, not just mechanics, because it takes a higher skill level. There are more diagnostics and more complex systems. We’re trying to let [school-age students] know that we’ve invested hundreds of millions of dollars in technological tools to service these kinds of trucks."
Penske is making a financial contribution to TechForce and also will take part in campaign marketing materials and advertising campaigns while sharing content on its social media platforms, Travis Leybeck, Director Strategic Alliances & Impact Management at TechForce, told Supply Chain Dive. In addition, the company will have a seat on the campaign’s National Leadership Cabinet and participate in the FutureTech video series, "When Techs Rock, America Rolls," which will highlight Penske’s best practices.
Leybeck added that students considering vehicle maintenance careers should also know that there is a career ladder.
"Technicians can go from entry level to master technician," he said, "and they have the opportunity to leave hands-on [work] and become advisors or managers and have a role in the corporation."