High demands for diesel mechanics in Wisconsin - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

High demands for diesel mechanics in Wisconsin

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As Baby Boomers reach retirement, concerns are growing about the future of several industries in Wisconsin.

The demand for diesel mechanics is high, but not enough people want to apply for the position, according to the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

As of now there are about 7,000 diesel mechanics in the Badger State.

"We don't have as many people entering the workforce therefore that demand is going to grow until we can level out again," said job service director Miranda Lezcano.

For local businesses, like JX Truck Center in Kronenwetter, employees are finding it difficult to fill positions.

"Now there's not as many applicants and a lot of times you're taking in guys who don't have experience and really training them," said service manager Jon Shimel.

Shimel said people often forgot how crucial it is having diesel mechanics in all communities.

"The whole economy basically relies on trucks," he said. "All that product is brought at those places by a truck."

The Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development recommends business leaders reach out to local schools and colleges, to encourage people to apply for the jobs.

Shimel said that's exactly what his company does.

Opportunities for apprenticeships are also available with the company.

"We do work with the local technical college and high school to try and bring in some of the younger kids that are in the technical classes," he said.

The workforce center expects Wisconsin will need an extra 1,000 mechanics for diesel vehicles by 2024.

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