Truck-Lite struggles to get applicants, speaks to state representative to discuss concerns
McElHATTAN — State Truck-Lite professionals reported that the business is “really struggling” with trying to find a multitude of applicants to fill at least 86 employee positions the company needs to meet the demands of the injection molding, distribution and harness departments within the McElhattan plant.
“We have nine departments in the state and each one is hurting,” Tyler Benedict, vice president of operations said.
Of the three departments at the plant in McElhattan, each one is not at their required employee needs. In Wellsboro, there are 70 job openings and at Coudersport there are 10 job openings.
The company has a requirement of 312 employees with only a current head count of 226.
Benedict describes that there was a “lack of work” due to the pandemic and related closures saying that the “recovery is hard for everyone”.
“The COVID problem exacerbated the problem further,” Greg Certo, vice president of human resources said.
The plant also added a 15,000 square foot injection molding expansion on the right side of the building which was completed in October.
This expansion, which includes new molding technology and 12 new work centers, will also bring more job opportunities.
Certo also added that Truck-Lite has also partnered with temporary agencies to have part-time and temporary positions starting at $15 an hour as well as improved their recruiting.
“We are ready to run with as much support as necessary,” Certo added.
The business plans to hold job fairs for the next couple of Saturday’s at the building on McElhattan Drive.
“That is the number one struggle that I am hearing (finding applicants and employees staying at jobs),” State Representative Stephanie Borowicz (R-76th District) said. “It’s an ongoing problem.”
She also very strongly described that she hopes the state will reopen and that the reopening would provide an “environment for people to want to work again and flourish”.
“Now it is time for people to get back to work, (unemployment) is not something to live off of,” she said.
Borowicz and her team suggested to the Truck-Lite
professionals to further discussions and partnerships with local schools such as Central Mountain and Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Truck-Lite plans to continue to work and improve their skilled labor apprenticeship with Penn Tech and hopes to connect with the local schools to create a program for high school seniors to help with the ongoing demand for employees.These programs help train new people in the industry and can even help them with a job during college.
Additionally, Tim Hazelton, plant manager, also noted that Truck-Lite is an essential business as they make the lights and necessary means for lighting on trucks as well as underwater lighting, and Truck-Lite has not shut down during the pandemic, providing some stability.
There is also a lot of shift work and being able to work around a multitude of schedules.
“This is a nice work environment and people can make a living here and be successful,” Certo said. “There are a lot of opportunities for growth.”