GUILFORD COUNTY-- Keeping the 21st Century big rig on the road takes a specialized technician.
"Trucking is the backbone of the American economy you can’t sell product if you can’t get product into the consumer’s hands," said Tommy Wilson, shop manager at Epes Transport in Greensboro.
Technicians are the brains behind fixing the trucks, and according to Bill Yokley, a diesel instructor at GTCC, the industry is short about 60,000 technicians nationally.
"We can get mechanics anywhere anytime, but a technician is very hard to come by in this industry," Yokely explained.
That is where GTCC's automotive program comes in.
Wilson said Epes Transport has a long-standing partnership with GTCC and tries support the program in every way possible.
"Up in the breakroom there’s always posts on news jobs openings," says Joel Hubacheck, an apprentice at Epes
Hubacheck has his apprenticeship thanks to the partnership between the school and company.
He's not alone. Out of the 28 technicians at Epes, nine of them came from GTCC. Other companies in the area also rely on the school's program.
"A lot of these companies call us on a regular basis and ask for technicians and what we might have available," Yokley said.
Yokley also said he doesn't see the need for technicians drying up anytime soon.
“Without those technicians we’re not going to be able to deliver freight, and if you can’t deliver freight, you’re not going to get a loaf of bread," Yokley said.
GTCC is holding an open house at their Jamestown campus from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. for people interested in the automotive program.