The labor shortage in the heavy equipment construction industry is a real issue that demands attention immediately. With the baby boomers retiring, lack of qualified operators and governments encouragement towards academic college as opposed to the vocational trades. This will no doubt though well-intentioned, produce much unintended negative consequences. Of the 68 percent of students who attend college almost 40 percent fail to complete four-year programs. For those who do complete four-year programs, 37 percent enter the workforce in positions that only require a high school education. Many of these students would likely find more significant benefits in vocational training than in the halls of higher learning.
Workforce surveys point to a growing problem affecting more and more Heavy equipment companies. The best mitigation for the situation is a dedicated effort to strengthen the pipeline of new workers into the field. Technology advancements and autonomous equipment will continue to alleviate some of the pain from the labor shortage, but to correct the problem Heavy equipment companies must look deeper into developing the next generation of workers. Now is also the time for Heavy equipment companies to take an active role to partner with vocational training providers.
National training Inc located in Green Cove Springs FL is an example of the vocational training school, started back in May of 1978 and has over 38,000 graduates across the country, offers CDL Truck Training and Heavy equipment operator training. NTI has been an NCCER Registered Training and Education Facility for heavy equipment operations since 2016. NTI’s experienced instructors are not only teaching construction theory but also applying hands-on experience to develop a knowledgeable and competency-based workforce. NTI employs two full-time instructors who teach the NCCER Heavy Equipment Operations curriculum. Class size is limited to 6-8 students. Because students must learn how to operate such complex machinery, the training is designed to give them plenty of seat time, and NTI tries to maintain a ratio of 25 percent classroom learning to 75 percent hands-on training. This combination allows the students to quickly apply the lessons they have learned in the classroom with performance tasks out in the schools’ 350-acre campus.
One of the major benefits of training at NTI comes from the fact that the school is teaching multiple machines in there 208 credit hr 4-week program. From front-end loaders to bulldozers, backhoes, and excavators, the program gives students the chance to become proficient in operating four types of heavy equipment plus, laser survey technology and laser grading.
NTI maintains Job placement and a very active job board with jobs listed all over the country. Since there is a large shortage for heavy equipment operators trained on the most modern machinery by receiving training on such a diverse array of equipment, graduates of NTI’s heavy equipment training are qualified for a myriad of job opportunities.