In response to the labor shortage, Wacker Neuson has joined with the state of Wisconsin to offer an apprentice program for construction equipment technicians, in which apprentices will be employed at dealerships and receive paid training.
Wacker Neuson will recruit candidates for the program, focusing on high school graduates, veterans and women. It will also work with its dealer network to seek candidates, the company says.
The two-and-a-half-year program involves paid instruction one week a month, while apprentices serve as construction equipment technicians, a job title created for the program. After successfully completing the program, they will achieve journeyman status.
“We are addressing the needs of our dealers and training world class technicians while they are earning wages,” says Jake Gaylord, technical training manager for Wacker Neuson and author of the program.
Apprentices will undergo online and instructor-led training and also gain employment experience. The training will be provided by Wacker Neuson University, the company’s training center in Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.
Apprentices will also receive training on the softer skills, designed to help them be a successful employee and succeed in their careers, through a local technical college.
Gaylord says the apprentices will become qualified technicians in machine diagnostics, maintenance and repair of all Wacker Neuson and similar construction equipment.
“The program is intended to act as a funnel for qualified technicians into our dealer network,” he says. “As a manufacturer, we heard from our dealer channel partners that they have trouble finding qualified skilled technicians to work on their equipment. We designed the apprenticeship program to help fill this gap by allowing technical apprentices to receive paid related instruction and on-the-job training at the same time.”