ALBANY, Ore. — The shortage for heavy equipment operators is huge.
“It’s not just a U.S. thing, it’s an International issue,” said Jason Hurdis with Caterpillar, Inc.
The gap continues to get bigger in an arena where skilled labor is needed. All the infrastructure projects in the country employ heavy equipment operators.
Anyone who is able-bodied can get schooling to learn this trade. Community colleges offer classes and equipment sales companies like Caterpillar are willing to train eager applicants. The average wage is about $40 per hour.
To call attention to the need for skilled equipment operators, Caterpillar Introduced the Global Operator Challenge. The competition begins this month with about 10,000 participants worldwide. That group gets whittled down to 60 and then the final 9 by March of 2023.
Peterson Cat of Albany holds its initial round of the competition in May.