NJ CAR Is Also Addressing the Shortage At The State Level
The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Foundation has launched a website (www.nadafoundation.org) aimed at addressing the ongoing shortage of technicians in the automotive retail industry. Technical schools and training programs currently graduate about 37,000 technicians each year, but the annual need for replacement technicians is about 76,000. That 39,000-person shortfall is the very definition of a crisis.
The website is part of the Foundation’s broader Workforce Initiative to educate and change the perception of a career as an automotive technician and the outdated stereotype of “mechanic.” Today’s auto technicians are part of a high-tech industry, using laptops and analyzing gigabytes of complex data to diagnose a problem before ever picking up a wrench and getting under the hood. The industry needs to make students (and parents) aware of how the industry has evolved and promote the benefits of an auto tech career, emphasizing the fact that these are good-paying, local jobs that can’t be outsourced.
The NADA Foundation’s website will connect individuals interested in an automotive repair career with training opportunities at community colleges and trade schools, as well as scholarships to help pay for their training. The NADA Foundation is also considering the creation of a nationwide network of career fair events to bring students, career centers and dealers together for local employment.
While NADA is attacking the technician shortage at the national level, NJ CAR is addressing this industry-wide problem at the State level with its own Workforce Development Initiative.
In the coming weeks and months, NJ CAR will be meeting with Service Managers and Directors to determine what skills dealerships NEED a service technician to have when they graduate from an automotive technician training program. The Coalition will take this feedback and design a job-specific training curriculum and defined career path that can be promoted to high school and post-secondary auto tech training programs throughout the State. The Coalition will close the loop in the student-to-auto tech circle by also developing a formal apprenticeship program to match technicians-in-training with new car dealerships.
Look for more information on NJ CAR’s Workforce Development Initiative in the near future.