Recently, ACTE’s Executive Director, LeAnn Wilson, and Associated Equipment Distributors (AED) President & CEO, Brian McGuire, co-authored an op-ed about how CTE can help address shortages in the skilled labor market.
“As of May 2018, the nation’s unemployment rate stood at 3.8 percent, the lowest since 2000. However, for the nation’s construction equipment dealers, manufacturers and suppliers, there’s a different number that impacts their businesses more and more every day: the job opening rate.
The job opening rate measures the percentage of jobs unfilled at a business, and it is calculated by taking the number of unfilled jobs divided by the total number of available jobs (filled and unfilled).
Recently, researchers at the College of William & Mary (W&M) completed a study based on a comprehensive member survey by Associated Equipment Distributors (AED), the trade association representing companies that sell, rent, repair and manufacture heavy construction equipment. The researchers found an average job opening rate of 11.34 percent among AED members. At the time the survey was taken, this amounted to more than three times the national average. Due to the booming economy, all indications are the job opening rate has only increased.
Indeed, the greatest strategic challenge facing the construction equipment industry is the scarcity of skilled technical workers to fill diesel technician positions. In fact, 75 percent of survey respondents claimed the lack of skilled technicians made it difficult to meet customer demand, and more than half said the skills gap hindered their company’s growth and increased costs and inefficiencies. Simply put, the demand for technical skills in today’s labor market dampens economic growth—the W&M researchers estimate it costs construction equipment dealers $2.4 billion annually in forgone revenue. While millions of jobs are predicted to be unfilled over the next decade in all sectors of the economy, steps can be taken to reverse this trend.”
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