By the time your collision repair workplace has a vacancy, it might already be at a hiring disadvantage, industry figures suggested at the recent CIC week.
Working with nearby trade colleges and high schools to develop skills you need, making an NFL-type effort to woo techs, and taking advantage of a new wave of job fairs might land your shop the staff it needs to fill openings, representatives from CREF, Garmat, and the Collision Industry Conference Education Committee suggested last week in Seattle.
Think the trade programs aren’t teaching techs what they need to be a valuable colleague or employee? Quit complaining and do something about it, they said.
Gene Lopez, co-chairman of the CIC Education Committee and an I-CAR field operations manager, said Thursday a survey on training programs found CTE school students weren’t ready for the job. He noted an interesting trend of shops — particularly MSOs — with their own training programs.
“The biggest constraint to growth is talent,” he said.
The Collision Repair Education Foundation estimates 21,500 auto body technicians leave the industry altogether — “a trend that has increased steadily since 1995,” it states. Meanwhile, another 31,500 stay in the industry but switch jobs annually, and more than 25 percent anticipated retiring or switching jobs within the next 12 months, according to CREF, which didn’t specify the year the data was measured.
And they’re getting older. The average age of a tech is 38.7, up from 35.5 in 1995, according to CREF.
Think like the NFL
Lopez highlighted North Carolina’s Fayetteville Technical Community College auto body program, which uses I-CAR curriculum, as an example to follow. It has 144 students, and its first auto body graduates ever will emerge in May.
All of those graduates had at least one job offer — and many had several, according to Lopez. Some employees were offering relocation and money for tools, he said.
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Author: Digital Dealer
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