(L-R) are Bill Cummings; Karen Zajick; Marilyn Reese; Christine Marshal; Lew Gordner; James Mack; Justin Beishline; Jeff Tulish; Bob Hoffman.
The Delaware Valley Associated Equipment Distributors (DVAED) held its spring meeting April 18 at the Inn of King of Prussia (Best Western) in King of Prussia, Pa.
Local vocational and technical school representatives spoke with DVAED members, consisting of southeastern Pennsylvania, southern New Jersey and Delaware construction equipment dealers. The hot topic, as it has been for years now, was the technician and skilled labor shortage that has been plaguing the industry, particularly at equipment dealerships, and what schools are doing to address the shortages.
Co-op programs, mentoring, and dealers working with their local vocation and tech schools to show that there are jobs waiting to be filled upon student's graduation were all presented as some of the solutions to develop more interest in building and technician trades.
Overcoming the predominant philosophy among many parents, as well as school guidance counselors, that attending a traditional college or university is a must, remains challenging. The key, the speakers asserted, is to continue promoting the success stories of students who have attended vocational training schools and have found themselves in lucrative, satisfying careers — many even going into business for themselves.
The speakers and schools who spoke to DVAED members during the spring meeting were:
• Justin Beishline, Pennsylvania College of Technology
• Christine Marshall, co-op coordinator, Delaware County Tech High Schools
• James Mack, heavy equipment instructor, Berks Career & Technology Center
• Marilyn Reese, school to work coordinator, Upper Bucks County Technical School
• Lew Gordner, co-op education coordinator, Chester County Intermediate Unit—CEG