David Kolman New 10 12 10981257

Does it have to end?

Oct. 11, 2013
Industry support needed for a vehicle maintenance management scholarship program.

A critical issue affecting all vehicle fleets and maintainers is the growing shortage of qualified technicians. A major concern is whether there will be enough in a few years due to the growing demand and the need to replace the wave of vehicle technicians hitting retirement age or leaving the industry.

Compounding the situation is that as vehicle technology and repair techniques continue to evolve, ongoing training is a must. A service repair business rises or falls on the know-how and skills of its technicians.

Last year, Fleet Maintenance created the Fleet Maintenance/Kansas University Scholarship Program for the university's Maintenance Management Online Certificate Course (www.continuinged.ku.edu/programs/maintenance_management). Designed for all types of mobile fleets and maintenance environments, the course is tailored to help those enrolled:

  • Evaluate their maintenance operation.
  • Plan, coordinate and schedule maintenance.
  • Properly use preventive and predictive maintenance in their operations.

Being an online course, the training can be done at one's convenience. Plus, there are no travel-related expenses.

The course instructor is Joel Levitt, a leading trainer of maintenance professionals and the author of the Management column that appears regularly in Fleet Maintenance.

The intent was to have an annual scholarship program. That has not happened due to a lack of industry support.

A Valuable Experience

The six scholarship recipients, chosen from more than 40 entries, found the online maintenance management course extremely valuable. Here is what some of them had to say.

Gerry Mead, vice president of maintenance, PAM Transport: The at-your-own pace learning environment was perfect for my busy and very hectic schedule, and provided many real-world examples.

The information I have taken away will help me take my team to new levels and help grow others in their careers, which in turn makes my organization stronger.

Since I was awarded this scholarship from my industry, I feel it is my obligation to my industry to make it better, and I will, one person at a time.

Joe Murzynsky, fleet maintenance manager, South Walton (Florida) Fire District:

Joel Levitt did an outstanding job relaying and explaining the information. He was very personable, always attentive and easily reached when needed outside of the "classroom."

I learned some very valuable management techniques which I have been able to translate into my own work environment. I'm already seeing a return on the time I spent in the class, and I feel that I have some great tools to carry myself and our organization into the future.

Don Sunseri, equipment maintenance supervisor, City of San Jose (CA): I found the online training to be convenient and surprisingly engaging. It was helpful in learning to think more strategically about our maintenance programs and operations.

Thomas Huff, facility manager, Precision Motor Transport Group: The online course was very user friendly, convenient and very helpful for me. Joel Levitt did a great job teaching it.

What with having a full-time job and other responsibilities to take care of, the flexibility of the class was a real plus.

For me, one of the most valuable benefits from the course was gaining a better understanding of fleet maintenance overall and how it affects my company, equipment and drivers. This class also has given me better judgment for managing my operation and dealing with my employees.

Sound Investment

The value of capable fleet maintenance managers is well known. We at Fleet Maintenance feel a scholarship program for deserving individuals in their next step in fleet maintenance management is a sound investment.

We also believe that an annual scholarship program would be an opportunity to give back to the fleet maintenance industry and to make a real difference in helping to further evolve professionalism within our industry. Do you?

A Call for Help

Aside from Fleet Maintenance, only Michelin and WorkSafe USA stepped up to financially support the program. CDX Automotive donated technician training software for use in the maintenance departments of the scholarship recipients.

In order for the Fleet Maintenance/Kansas University Scholarship Program to continue on, additional support is needed.

To learn how you can help with this worthwhile endeavor, please contact Fleet Maintenance's publisher Tom Neil at [email protected] or 800-547-7377 extension 1775 or multi-media account executive Patrick Krill at [email protected] or 920-568-8395.

Thank you in advance.

About the Author

David A. Kolman | Contributor - Fleet Maintenance

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