In most surveys, the driver shortage is stated as being the number one issue facing the trucking industry. Although it is an important issue, we also need to focus on the growing shortage of qualified technicians (techs). According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the need for techs is growing 12% faster than other occupations. The increasing need, coupled with retirements, will result in an additional 142,000 tech openings by 2022. Attracting techs to our industry is a challenge but fleets also need to focus on tech retention. Techs leave their companies for three reasons; they do not like their boss; they do not see a career path or are attracted by a perceived better job with a higher wage. In my opinion, all three of these reasons can be rolled up into one issue; a lack of skilled fleet leadership. During my fleet management career, I quickly learned the importance of retaining techs and the bottom-line impact it has for an organization. Unfortunately, in many organizations’ techs are not recognized as skilled craftsman and are often treated as “redheaded stepchildren”, receiving little recognition or support. Fleet leaders need to understand what it takes to retain techs. If your organization needs assistance in developing the skills to retain techs, go to www.fleetAMI.com for more information.