Last week, U.S. Senator Mitt Romney (R-Utah) visited Kenworth Sales Company in Salt Lake City for a two-hour visit including a roundtable discussion about workforce issues and technician recruitment and training followed by a facility tour led by dealer principal and former ATD Chairman Kyle Treadway.
At the round table, Treadway was joined by members of the Utah Diesel Technician Pathways program (UDTP) including representatives from local trade schools, employers, and economic development officials. The program, which was formed in 2017 by the Governor’s Office of Economic Development (GOED), is designed to encourage students to consider a career in the diesel technology field and fill the diesel tech industry pipeline. UDTP provides prospective industry members with education about the tools and training needed for engineering, technology and design.
Treadway highlighted that at present, there is a nationwide shortage of about 80,000 diesel technicians and that apprentices typically make up about 25% of his company’s workforce. During Sen. Romney’s dealership tour, he spoke with two apprentice technicians and met local students participating in a technician shadow program offering them the opportunity to see what a dealership service career would look like.
Treadway also highlighted the challenges associated with technician training for Sen. Romney, as well as underscored the growing interest in electric trucks, electric vehicle charging infrastructure and the current supply chain constraints that dealers are facing on new trucks and parts.
If you are interested in hosting your local Congressman or Senator at your dealership, please contact Patrick Calpin, NADA/ATD director of grassroots advocacy, at email@example.com or 202.547.5500.