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school bus technician
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The Unfilled Seats: Exploring the School Bus Technician Gap

Many school districts are facing a pressing issue that has far-reaching implications for the safety and efficiency of school transportation. As we’ve seen in other industries, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to hire and retain experienced maintenance technicians. This is no different in the world of diesel mechanics. Some schools are looking to increase pay to compete with the trucking industry while others are employing their students to perform school bus maintenance.

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rescue workers at balasore train crash site
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Balasore Train Crash: Urgent Need for Maintenance and Safety Upgrades

A recent train crash in Balasore, India has resulted in hundreds of casualties and injuries, highlighting the critical need to ensure robust maintenance practices and safety measures are in place. While the investigation is still underway, the Ministry of Railways has identified the root cause of the incident and made recommendations to prevent future accidents.

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operation ivory soap
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Lathered in Valor: Saluting the Maintenance Heroes of Operation Ivory Soap

In 1944, Colonel Matthew Thompson rented the entire Grand Hotel in Alabama for $1 and a promise. The Army needed to find a training center near the water as 5,000 soldiers were going to be converted to sailors to board ships headed to the Pacific. Cargo ships were retrofitted into floating maintenance and repair shops to repair aircraft returning from ‘Island Hopping’ missions in the Pacific Theatre. The machinists and technicians onboard were crucial to the final push in WWII.

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aviation maintenance technicians
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Critical Gaps in the Sky: The Looming Aviation Maintenance Technician Shortage

Have you ever been sitting on the tarmac waiting for the plane to take off when you hear the pilot make an announcement? Typically, it has something to do with the side of air travel we don’t see, maintenance. Boeing’s pilot and technician outlook reported 610,000 new maintenance technicians will be needed for maintenance, repair, and overhaul services over the next twenty years. Production of aviation maintenance technicians will need to increase by at least 20% to meet the projected workforce demand.

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pantheon dome
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The Lost Recipe of Self-Healing Concrete: A Maintenance Dream

Enduring nearly 2,000 years of foot traffic, harsh weather, and earthquakes the Pantheon is one of the most impressive structures in the world. Modern concrete structures only last an average of 100 years, assuming proper maintenance is regularly performed. Yet the Romans were able to create a material that has the ability to heal small fissures on its own, allowing their infrastructure to withstand the test of time. Being that concrete is the most commonly used building material in the world, scientists have been searching for the lost recipe to self-healing concrete for hundreds of years without success. Until now, when a team of scientists finally cracked the code.

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uss lincoln
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Potable Water Contamination aboard US Naval Ships

In September of 2022, poor maintenance procedures led to sailors aboard US Naval ships drinking and showering in contaminated water. They were exposed to e-coli and jet fuel found in the potable water systems on board the USS Abraham Lincoln and the USS Nimitz. The Navy launched an investigation and recently released official reports which revealed the root cause of the incidents and plants to implement remedial action. 

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Semiconductor Industry Facing Worrisome Talent Shortage

Following the CHIPS and Science Act, semiconductor manufacturers have announced over $200 billion in investments for manufacturing. The United States currently produces 10% of all chips but hopes to increase production and account for 30% of global chip production by 2030. McKinsey predicts this aspiration will result in a deficit of 300,000 engineers and 90,000 skilled technicians.

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maintenance work on the pedro miguel chamber of the panama canal
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Panama Canal Maintenance to Extend Life Another 100 years

The original locks have been in constant use since their completion over one hundred years ago. The Panama Canal has strict maintenance schedules in place to ensure the reliability of the canal as forty ships pass through daily. Nearly every 5 years each chamber is refurbished and every 25-30 years the gates are reconditioned. According to Miguel Lorenzo, the VP of Infrastructure and Engineering for the Canal Authority, their maintenance plan is designed to extend the Panama Canal’s life for another 100 years.

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ball bearings
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Russian Ball Bearing Shortage

In recent years, there have been many shortages, seemingly random products were in high demand yet missing from store shelves. Russia is becoming all too familiar with the scarcity of one product you would not expect, ball bearings. These rolling element bearings are increasingly hard to come by even though they are in extremely high demand.  

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