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TechForce Releases Report Analyzing Tech Shortage

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Oct. 30, 2017—TechForce Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on aiding aspiring vehicle technicians, released a new report —“Transportation Technician New Entrant Demand” — that reveals the severity of the vehicle technician shortage.

Based on an analysis of the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ (BLS) data, TechForce found that the estimated demand for “new entrant” technicians is much higher than previously reported. For the period between 2016 and 2026, that demand is more than triple the prior BLS estimates for the period between 2014 and 2024.

“New entrant” technicians are those needed to fill the growth in new positions in the occupation as well as replace those who leave the occupation. They are distinguished from experienced technicians who may move between employers but don’t add to the overall trained workforce in the occupation.

The report reveals that the newly projected BLS average annual new entrant demand for 75,900 auto technicians for the 2016-2026 period is far greater than the previous BLS projected demand of 23,720 technicians for the 2014-2024 period. 

The demand for collision and diesel technicians is similar. The newly projected BLS average annual new entrant demand of 28,300 diesel technicians far exceeds the previous projected demand of 7,690.  For the collision market, the newly projected BLS average annual new entrant demand is 17,200 technicians compared to the previous projection of 4,810.

Doug Young, a co-author of the report and managing director of his own strategy consulting company, Wilcap L.L.C, said, “The TechForce report is the first to provide annual historical and projected demand that also utilizes the new BLS replacement rate. The great benefit is that the numbers now correspond to actual industry experience and explain why the shortage occurred and why it has persisted.”

As to what can be done to alleviate the shortage, Young said, “Our concentration has to be on getting young people interested in this vocation by changing the image of the ‘grease monkey’ mechanic that students and their parents, teachers and counselors may have.”

Jennifer Maher, CEO/executive director of TechForce, added, “In order to solve the tech shortage, the industry needs to pool its resources and create and disseminate consistent public messaging highlighting the many and varied opportunities of a tech career. The industry is suffering from inadequate, fragmented financing for the cause. It’s not enough for us to talk among ourselves, we have to pull together as an industry to first, resolve it, and then to stay ahead of it so we never wind up in this position again.”

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