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Daimler Trucks North America LLC
Not all skilled tradesmen have the same skills and abilities. That has made it a challenge for Daimler Trucks in Gastonia, NC, to hire people with the specific skills and training they need. In 2008, the company started a registered apprenticeship program. They currently have three unique programs, including Tool & Die Makers, Maintenance Mechanics, and E-Coat Technicians (a hybrid painting and wastewater technician).
“If you’re looking for skilled labor, good luck,” says Tyrone Alexander, Technical and Process Training Specialist at Daimler’s Gastonia Components & Logistics Plant. “It’s a very difficult position to be in nowadays. There are not enough of skilled tradesmen available with other companies trying to hire the same people.”
While other companies have apprenticeship programs through community colleges, the Gastonia location has partnered with the United Auto Workers Union (UAW) to develop their programs. The onboarding process is a little different and includes a college entry test with minimum Math and Reading/English requirements. The company publicizes apprenticeship job openings inside and outside Daimler looking for the best candidates. They currently have six apprentices in the program with a brother and sister who will start in the program in July 2021.
“For companies considering apprenticeship in North Carolina, I strongly recommend reaching out to the ApprenticeshipNC team,” adds Alexander. “They have tremendous resources and can even connect you with consortiums like Apprenticeship 321 or Apprenticeship 2000 to make the process easier. Don’t put it off.”