Volvo launches initiative to fill skills gap in aggregates industry

By |  April 28, 2016
Volvo Construction Equipment is touring North America in a golden hauler as a part of an initiative to fill the skills gap in the aggregates industry.

Volvo Construction Equipment is touring North America in a golden hauler as a part of an initiative to fill the skills gap in the aggregates industry. Photo courtesy of Volvo Construction Equipment.

As a part of its 50th anniversary of the invention of the articulated hauler, Volvo Construction Equipment is touring North America in a golden hauler and making stops at dealerships to host workshops for students interested in skilled trade positions. The tour is part of a partnership between Volvo Construction Equipment North America, Volvo dealerships, and SkillsUSA and Skills Canada – two organizations dedicated to improving the quality of North America’s skilled workforce.

For its first workshop, about 25 students from the automotive program at Broughton High School in Raleigh, N.C., and the Diesel Tech program at Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, N.C., visited ASC Construction Equipment USA in Raleigh to learn more about how they can help to close the skills gap in North America. The workshop included a tour of the facility where students learned about the role technicians play in keeping equipment up and running, as well as a tour of the telematics bay.

“The best part of this event was the one-on-one interaction we were able to have with the employees,” says John Martin, a Broughton student. “We were able to hear about their experiences firsthand, on a more personal level, and really understand what drives them to do what they do.”

According to Volvo, increasing awareness about the skills gap issue and helping bridge that gap are imperative for construction equipment dealerships like ASC. An Associated Equipment Distributors report released earlier this year says the economy is losing out on $2.4 billion every year as a result of dealers’ inability to find and retain skilled workers, Volvo adds.

“By 2020, we expect there to be a 10 million-person shortage in our skilled workforce,” says Peyton Holland, executive director for SkillsUSA North Carolina at the event. “That’s what makes this partnership with Volvo Construction Equipment so tremendous – students get to meet real people, learn about real careers and hear real stories about how people developed their own career paths.”

Volvo Construction Equipment’s golden hauler will continue to travel throughout North America in 2016 and will end its journey at ConExpo-Con/Agg in March 2017, where it will be auctioned off, with the proceeds benefiting training programs that encourage new generations to enter the construction industry.

Allison Barwacz

About the Author:

Allison Barwacz is the digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Portable Plants magazine, GPS World magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.

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