Trucking news and briefs for Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2022:
Navistar launches International technician apprenticeship program
Navistar announced Monday the launch of its International Truck and IC Bus Uptime Academy, a 12-month technician apprenticeship program that offers paid, hands-on training in a real-world setting.
The new program presents a unique approach to technician training, from a 90-day dealership rotation to on-the-job class assignments. Students work with multiple vehicle types, including electric and fuel cell technologies. On top of 3,200 hours of on-the-job training, students receive 800 hours of classroom time and lab work, a journeyman toolbox, laptop and Navistar mentor.
“With the technician shortage at an all-time high, this is the perfect opportunity for future potential technicians to get their feet wet and experience working for the country’s largest commercial vehicle service network,” said Ana Salcido, manager, Technician Recruitment, Navistar. “Uptime Academy offers the benefit of working closely with new technologies, sending technicians into the industry prepared for what is to come.”
West Michigan International Service Manager Jason Carley oversees Uptime Academy apprentice Andrew Langeland and his technician mentor Jay Schick. Carley has seen firsthand the knowledge and skills Langeland has gained and considers him a major asset to the Western Michigan International service center.
“We are very excited for the opportunities Uptime Academy has provided to aide Andrew in becoming a master certified technician within our department,” said Carley. “Communication with the academy team has been instrumental, and they continue to support and provide the proper resources to make this program possible. We are already seeing positive outcomes and are excited about future opportunities.”
Florida individual pleads guilty in moving company conspiracy
On Aug. 23, Serghei Verlan pleaded guilty in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio to conspiracy in a racketeering enterprise -- valued at between $1.5 and $3.5 million -- to defraud more than 1,800 individuals throughout the United States.
From April 2013 through July 2018, Verlan owned and operated various moving companies that defrauded, extorted and stole from customers who hired the companies to move their household goods, according to the Department of Transportation Office of inspector General.
Verlan allegedly provided or directed materially false statements to federal regulators and third-party companies to further the scheme, and to customers in conducting affairs of the moving enterprise. Verlan was indicted in July 2018.
To obtain customers, Verlan’s companies provided low binding estimates and promised to beat their competitors' prices, OIG said. After loading customers' goods, they increased their price of the move and held the goods hostage until customers paid the inflated prices. Some loads were not delivered at all. The enterprise also charged customers for moving more cubic feet of household goods than what were actually loaded.
When customers complained, OIG said the enterprise would shut down the latest iteration of the moving company and open a new one, falsifying information about the owners' identities in order to fraudulently receive operating licenses from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.