Pennsylvania farm equipment dealers are teaming up to promote an on-the-job apprenticeship program to address the shortage of technicians, reports LancasterOnline.

The program, the Agriculture Equipment Service Technician Working Group, was introduced during Lancaster County Ag Week. The goal of the group is to teach high school students the specific skills needed to maintain farm equipment that is becoming more and more high tech. Following the apprenticeship, students would then be hired by the dealers for continued training, the article says.

Dealers participating in the group include Binkley & Hurst, Hoober Inc., Messick’s and Deer County Equipment. Joining the dealers in the venture are New Holland and the Northeast Equipment Dealers Assn. The group is working with 10 high schools to teach the skills identified by the task force.

“Just like nearly everything else in our world, from autos to airplanes, computers and high-tech advances are making a very significant impact on the way things get done in agriculture.

“This industry needs people who have the capacity and desire to set a course early in their educational journey which will guide them to a fulfilling career in what we have identified as literally thousands of ag-oriented jobs,” Dan Hoover, president of Binkley & Hurst told LancasterOnline.

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