The Official Blog of Penske Transportation Solutions

For the eighth-straight year, Penske Truck Leasing will be participating in the SkillsUSA National Leadership and Skills Conference (NLSC). Taking place from June 20-24 in Atlanta, Georgia, Penske will be connecting with aspiring technicians to reinforce the importance of their work to the industry and to promote career opportunities that are available with the company. This year will mark Penske’s first as an official sponsor.

SkillsUSA

SkillsUSA is a national organization serving teachers, and high school and college students who are preparing for careers in technical, skilled, and service occupations. As part of the national conference, more than 6,500 students who were state champions participate in hands-on competitions in more than 100 trade, technical and leadership fields.

"These students are the best of the best in their skilled trade – in the nation," said Rick Labadie, Director of Staffing – Technician Hiring. He added that by helping with judging during the competition, "We experience first-hand how they perform. They have to troubleshoot the issue, whatever error code we put on the truck."

Penske will be an exhibitor at booth B432 – just across from the diesel competition. There will be daily drawings for prizes, such as a Snap-on toolbox, an Oculus, Team Penske-signed miniature race helmets and die-cast racecars, Apple products and gift cards.

This year, Penske has donated the use of five Freightliner tractors for the event’s Live Engine station where its fleet maintenance experts will judge the Shop Skills competition. NLSC attendees are also able to experience a live training session from three expert Penske technicians during “The New Face of Transportation” presentation. The expert technicians will feature the current landscape of fleet maintenance and technology, highlighting the company’s latest project in fleet technician training, Penske XR.

SkillsUSA Live Engine Competition

Penske lead technician, Shawn Teal reminisced over his time competing in the diagnostic portion of the 2015 SkillsUSA competition: "I knew exactly what to do, and when to do it – and did it as fast as I possibly could.”

"You learn twice as fast and retained it," Teal said, explaining that when he went to work each day, he would see the real-world application of the things he was learning in the classroom. Teal graduated from Minnesota State Community and Technical College in May 2015 and went on to place sixth in the diesel competition at the 2015 SkillsUSA. Since joining Penske in 2013, he's been promoted several times and is now lead technician at Penske in Fargo, North Dakota.

As a lead technician for Penske Truck Leasing, Teal is agile and efficient in detecting truck issues, and getting them back on the road.

Since Penske Truck Leasing provides comprehensive fleet maintenance, his wide-ranging experience served Teal well when he was competing in at NLSC seven years ago. To get there, Teal won the Minnesota state competition, competing in hands-on tests against top diesel technician students from across the U.S. “At each station of the state competition, you didn’t know the skill level of your opponents, but you did your absolute best the quickest way possible,” he stated.

"Every day is a new challenge," Teal said. "That’s the best part about working at Penske."

Labadie said the conference is a good platform to encourage technical career opportunities to students and demonstrate the importance of skilled trades. In addition to diesel technicians, NLCS features a wide variety of careers, including electronics, computer-aided drafting, precision machining, medical assisting and culinary arts.

SkillsUSA Media Kit

“As Penske continues to grow, our fleet size continues to grow,” said Labadie. “As our fleet grows, we have a need for more talent, and what better place to find great talent than at SkillsUSA.”

The Penske fleet count is currently 381,600 and continues to grow.

“To keep up with the Penske growth, we need to hire an additional 5,000 diesel maintenance technicians per year – for the next few years,” continued Labadie.

Teal’s advice for 2022 competitors? "Don't let it intimidate you. The competition can get intense – so take the challenge head on and have fun out there!"

"You get students who are there with their families. They're cheering on their brother or sister," Labadie said. "That's our next generation of people coming into our industry. It's an opportunity to build relationships with students, schools and industry leading supporters."

For information on diesel technician job openings and other career opportunities with Penske, visit https://penske.jobs/.

Penske Truck Leasing is delivering training in the most exciting ways. Through mixed (MR) reality training, we have the opportunity to make our virtual training highly interactive, cutting-edge, and more effective. The use of the latest equipment positions our company to be one of the transportation industry’s leaders in training technology.

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The National Private Truck Council 2021 Benchmarking Survey Report provides fleets with new industry standards to evaluate performance and identify opportunities for improvement.

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Penske Truck Leasing recently held a dedication ceremony at Lincoln Tech in Columbia, Maryland, as the company branded a 1,000-square-foot multipurpose classroom at the school. The space will mainly be utilized during Lincoln's Driving Your Performance course, which introduces students to various topics such as vehicle and engine systems, industry certifications and career opportunities in the industry.

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Penske Truck Leasing has constructed a new state-of-the-art facility in Fort Worth, Texas. Located at 1300 John Burgess Drive, it is the third full-service company location in the Fort Worth area. Penske now has a total of 16 locations throughout the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex.

This structure offers consumer and commercial truck rental, full-service truck leasing and contract truck fleet maintenance. It is also outfitted with the company's proprietary fully digital and voice-directed preventive maintenance process and connected fleet solutions, a value-added resource to help customers address issues and options related to onboard technology systems (ELDs, telematics, onboard cameras, etc.).

"We invested in this third local location to support our growing customer base in the southern part of the Fort Worth market," explained Chris Anderholm, senior vice president for Penske Truck Leasing's south central region. "We are very pleased to be a part of the business park expansion which allows Penske to better serve large customers in the delivery and food and beverage sectors, and to help them meet their customer's needs."

The location is 23,470-square-feet and sits on 12.5 acres. It has five truck service bays, an automated wash bay and a full-service fuel island.

By "Move Ahead" Staff

With the SkillsUSA Championships moving to Atlanta in 2022, this summer was the perfect time for the organization to pack up its competition warehouse and head to Georgia.

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Penske Truck Leasing is a proud supporter of the TechForce Foundation, an organization with a mission to champion students to and through their education and into careers as professional technicians.

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Penske Truck Leasing required additional space to service its growing customer base in the Calgary region and has built a new state-of-the-art facility at 101 High Plains PL, Balzac, AB T4A 0W7. The new facility will supplement Penske's three additional facilities in the area.

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Rick Swanson, a Penske Truck Leasing branch service manager, was recently given the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve (ESGR) Patriot Award for his work with a Penske associate serving in the military. Swanson, who works in Lakewood, Washington, was honored for his support of Gerrit Sluyter, a Penske technician 3 and a reserve lance corporal in the U.S. Marines Corps.

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Mike Hasinec's distinguished career at Penske Truck Leasing has been recognized by the transportation industry. The company's vice president of maintenance is the 2020 recipient of Commercial Carrier Journal's Technology and Maintenance Career Leadership Award.

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Everyone has their own unique learning style. That's why for a second year in a row, Penske Truck Leasing is proud to support the TechForce Foundation's "Be A Pathfinder" campaign, which focuses on helping individuals identify their learning style.

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David Sledziewski, a Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, truck maintenance technician, was named the champion of the inaugural Penske Truck Leasing 2019 Tech Showdown competition.

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Penske Truck Leasing has opened a new facility in East Dundee, Illinois, a northwest suburb of Chicago. The new site is in the Terra Business Park, a unique location between three Chicago area Penske branches; Rockford, Elk Grove and West Chicago.

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