October 2017 Vol. 72 No. 10


Volvo CE Fuels Workforce Development

Volvo CE and its dealer Highway Equipment & Supply partnered with Pennsylvania College of Technology, donating equipment and other training resources to its operator programs.

Volvo Construction Equipment (Volvo CE) continued to address the skills gap and help students start a career in the construction industry.

“In the U.S., an estimated 600,000 manufacturing jobs went unfilled in 2011 and could grow to over two million in 10 years, according to a report from the Manufacturing Institute and Deloitte,” said Chuck Wood, vice president, human resource management and administration, sales region Americas, Volvo CE. “That’s a vast skills gap we could face, which is why it’s important for us, as an industry leader, to help support the future of our industry.”

Over the summer, the company teamed up with dealer Highway Equipment & Supply to donate equipment, including an EC220D excavator, and other resources to the operator training programs at Pennsylvania College of Technology. Ryan Flood, vice president of Highway Equipment, also serves on the program’s advisory council. Located in Williamsport, PA, the college is affiliated with Pennsylvania State University and has more than 5,000 students.

Demand is high for students who complete the college’s degree in heavy construction equipment technology with an operator emphasis, as evidenced by the program’s placement rate of around 96 percent.
Volvo CE also participated in SkillsUSA and Skills Compétences Canada annual competitions in Kentucky and Manitoba, Canada, respectively. During the events, Volvo CE and its partners – Rudd Equipment Company, Louisville, KY; and Westcon Equipment & Rentals Ltd., Winnipeg, Manitoba – exhibited equipment, offered simulator training, and participated in panels discussing the skills students need to stay competitive in the industry.

The Kentucky SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference attracted more than 15,000 students, teachers, education leaders and representatives from over 600 national and regional corporations, trade associations and labor unions. About 6,000 state contest winners competed in 100 different trade, technical and leadership fields at this national event.

The Manitoba national skills competition attracted 7,500 students from across Canada. More than 500 students from secondary or post-secondary schools were tested on their skills in six different sectors, including construction, manufacturing and engineering, employment, information technology, transportation and service.

“It was very rewarding to share the exciting changes happening in our field of expertise with the younger generations and to encourage them to start a career in the industry,” said Wood. “The energy in the experienced professionals who served as judges and exhibitors was also high, and it’s refreshing to see them transferring expertise and skills knowledge to young students.”

Volvo Construction Equipment, (717) 532-9181, volvoce.com

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