AEM intros online toolkit to help contractors tap schools, community for workers

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Updated Sep 20, 2018

Heavy Equipment OperatorsA new online toolkit has been released to help construction industry tap the potential labor source at high schools and the local community.

The Association of Equipment Manufacturers developed the Workforce Development Toolkit over the past several months in response to the labor shortage in the equipment sector.

“With the skills gap this industry is facing, we need to collectively act or risk losing another generation of talent,” says Mark Core, Vermeer executive vice president and AEM Workforce Development Task Force chairman. “This industry offers good-paying jobs and exciting career paths, and we need to do a better job of telling that story in classrooms and our communities.”

The toolkit offers a variety of solutions to addressing such issues as building relationships at the schools and in the local community and spreading the word about opportunities in the industry.

It lays out a variety of approaches to workforce development in a grid format and gives concrete tools to achieve outreach objectives. The development tools are broken down into three categories: “light lift,” “moderate lift” and “heavy lift,” depending on how much effort you want to put into the task.

For example, light tools include adopting a school; moderate, holding a career path workshop; and heavy, job shadowing. Each tool in the grid can be clicked on to provide details on how to conduct each task.

The AEM toolkit offers a self-assessment to help you get started.

AEM also created a video on how to use the toolkit:

“Equipment manufacturers wanted to develop a resource they could use themselves, but also one they could share with their customer groups and end-users to showcase the opportunities available throughout the industry – whether on the shop floor, at a dealership or on a jobsite,” says AEM President Dennis Slater. “This tool kit provides actionable ideas, resources and support for employers in the equipment sector to kick start their outreach or build on what they already have underway when it comes to recruiting our future workforce.”

The AEM says the toolkit is another piece to its workforce development program, which includes webinars on such topics as hiring veterans and apprenticeships. It also has a scholarship initiative for teachers wanting to teach equipment courses to high school students.