Trail King, South Dakota Bucking Job Perceptions
Sep 14, 2012 11:50 AM, By Rick Weber
Trail King Industries President/CEO Bruce Yakley has an answer for those who say there are no jobs: Come to Mitchell, South Dakota.
Yakley was featured in a Fox News segment Thursday in which it was stated that although the national unemployment rate is 8.1%, there are 3.7 million open jobs, including 11,313 in South Dakota. Yakley said he anticipates having a few hundred jobs in the next few years that he will have difficulty in filling.
“Anybody who has got skills, if they want a job, they can get a job—tomorrow,” he told Fox News. “They can change jobs. It’s very easy. The unemployment rate is essentially zero for people who want to have a job.”
Yakley said he has tapped out the local labor pool and is searching the country to fill jobs at Trail King. Trail King’s website (http://www.trailking.com/) lists 15 current openings at the headquarters plant in Mitchell and its new plant in West Fargo, North Dakota, including two beam welders, one aluminum welder and one stall welder. He said some welder positions pay as much as $80,000 per year.
South Dakota governor Dennis Daugaard has started the WINS workforce initiative program and appropriated $5 million to search in other states to fill the openings in South Dakota.
Trail King was listed as North America’s 17th-largest trailer manufacturer in Trailer/Body Builders’ 2011 survey published last March.
It manufactured 1,892 truck trailers, a 29% increase over 2010, plus another 253 light-duty trailers with axles under 10,000-pound capacity, which are counted separately.
The biggest share of Trail King production is in lowbed and specialized heavy-haul trailers, including extendable trailers, step platforms, hydraulic-tail and tilt-deck trailers, totaling 1,133 units. Dump trailer production including end dumps, bottom dumps and live-bottom trailers totaled 500 in 2011. Pneumatic dry bulk trailers numbered 259.
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