Ivy Tech, semi dealers chip away at ongoing technician shortage with diesel technology program

Local News

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – Supply chain issues continue to affect nearly every aspect of life, and the issue does not appear to be going away any time soon.

Logistics companies are on the front lines trying to keep up with high demand in wake of these supply chain issues. According to a study from the IU Kelley School of Business, the country is seeing a shortage of about 80,000 drivers.

At the same time, there are not enough qualified mechanics available when problems arise with the trucks themselves. A spokesperson with Stoops Freightliner says they are looking to hire 40 to 50 technicians across dealerships in Indiana and Ohio.

Semi dealers such as Stoops Freightliner and Daimler Trucks are trying to address these staffing shortages by recruiting students at schools such as Ivy Tech Fort Wayne.

On Wednesday, the dealers presented Ivy Tech Fort Wayne with a new Freightliner semi-truck for the school’s Diesel Technology Program. The semi will allow students to get hands-on training with new technologies as they work to become a certified diesel technologist.

Mark Breeding from Daimler Trucks says it is just as important to find qualified technicians to provide a home for these drivers who live life on the road.

“Routine maintenance happens, but if the wheels aren’t turning, the drivers aren’t earning money,” Breeding said. “It’s really important that when the trucks need service, they are technicians there to be able to handle that situation.”

Aidan Straka, a diesel technology student, has just started taking classes at Ivy Tech Fort Wayne. He is excited to get started with this program and make an immediate difference in the industry once he earns his certification.

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