TechForce releases the 2021 Technician Supply & Demand Report

TechForce Report Reveals Demand for New Technicians
Nearly Doubled since 2020 – Estimated to Outpace Supply by 5 to 1

Supply took a big hit in 2020 from COVID while demand continued to increase Electric vehicle impact on demand negligible over next 5 years

October 28, 2021 – PHOENIX, AZ — TechForce Foundation® has released its 2021 Transportation Technician Supply & Demand Report, revealing the transportation technician shortage continues to worsen. Demand for technicians nearly doubled in the past year – from 136,503 in 2020 to 258,000 in 2021. Last year demand outpaced supply by nearly three to one; now it is estimated to be five to one.

 

The 2021 Technician Supply & Demand Report supplements the Foundation’s previous reports, adjusting prior projections to reflect research from the National Center for Education Statistics, U.S. Department of Energy, Vehicle Technologies Office and TechForce’s own analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Citing both increasing demand for professional techs and a declining supply of new techs entering the industry, the update concludes that the technician shortage is increasing in severity, exacerbated by the COVID driven decrease in post-secondary enrollments in 2020.

 

Although demand is strong, with 797,530 auto/diesel/collision techs needed between 2021 and 2025, the shortage continues to worsen. This year demand for new entrant techs is estimated at 258,000 (up from 136,503 in 2020) while 2020 post secondary completions (supply) were only 48,000. We are seeing a glimmer of hope as attitudes towards these careers are improving in part because they were deemed essential by the government. This translates to great job security. “There is no short-term immediate fix for the tech shortage because it takes time to cultivate and train new techs. However, we are seeing growing industry support and student engagement with near term solutions like the network launched earlier this year by TechForce,” said Jennifer Maher, TechForce CEO.

 

Built to inspire and support tomorrow’s workforce of technicians, JoinTechForce.org is the first and only social network designed and gamified exclusively for professional technicians and tech students. They are using it to connect with each other, employers and schools. The transportation community is supporting it with content and using it to learn, connect, find scholarships and events, explore job opportunities while competing for prizes and leaderboard status.

 

According to TechForce Director Emeritus of National Initiatives Greg Settle, who authored the report, “We have done our best to make allowances for the impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is clear that the long-term social and economic consequences remain unknown.”

 

“As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, skilled workers remain vital to our nation’s economy,” says Jerome Grant, CEO of Universal Technical Institute.  “This report is informative as to the trends for emerging areas within the automotive field including some initial details on the impact of electric vehicles.”

 

You can download the 2021 Technician Supply & Demand Report here.

 

About TechForce Foundation
TechForce Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) with the mission to champion all students to and through their technical education and into careers as professional transportation technicians. The Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants annually, thanks to its generous corporate sponsors and donors, and spearheads an industry-wide workforce development initiative to help encourage and support more young people to pursue the vehicle technician profession. For more information, visit www.techforce.org. Follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.

Resource Links

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3rd Annual Techs Rocks Awards now accepting nominations

TechForce Foundation Now Accepting Nominations
for its 3rd Annual Techs Rock AwardsTM

Five transportation technicians to be recognized for outstanding
contributions as role models in their shops and communities

October 25, 2021 – SCOTTSDALE, AZ — TechForce Foundation’s® annual Techs Rock Awards season has begun. TechForce created this prestigious award to honor professional technicians who mentor and inspire the next generation of techs, bring excellence to their workplaces and communities, and demonstrate passion and commitment to the profession. Now in its third year, the Techs Rock Awards are accepting nominations through 5 PM PDT, Nov 10, 2021. Nominate a technician today at TechForce.org/TechsRock.

Over $12,500 in prizes will be awarded:

Each Category Winner, selected by a panel of industry experts, will receive prizes valued over $1,500 from TechForce partners including Ford Motor Company, CRC Industries, Snap-on Tools, Advance Auto Parts, Cengage, WD-40 Company, and AutoZone.

The Grand Prize Winner, as chosen by popular vote, will receive additional prizes valued over $5,000 from CRC Industries, Ford Motor Company, Snap-on Tools, Advance Auto Parts, Shell, WD-40 Company, and AutoZone.

Technicians will be considered for one of five categories including Pay it Forward, Rookie of the Year, Die Hard Tech, Outstanding Mentor, and Barrier Buster. A panel of celebrity judges will select one Category Winner from each of the five categories. The Grand Prize Winner will be selected from the slate of Category Winners via a People’s Choice Public Vote, to be held November 29 – December 3, 2021.

2021 Techs Rock Award judges include Emily Reeves, Flying Sparks Garage; Charles Sanville, The Humble Mechanic; Bogi Lateiner, Bogi’s Garage; Steve Ford, The Car Guy; and Julia Landauer, Julia Landauer Racing.

The previous Grand Prize Winner Melina Algier of Farnsworth Chevrolet remarked on the Techs Rock Awards, “Amazing! It’s an honor. I have dedicated myself to proving that women can work in the [transportation] industry… Thank you!”

TechForce Foundation will be releasing a 2021 update to its Technician Supply & Demand Report later this month addressing the ongoing technician shortage. Recognition programs like the Techs Rock Awards can help address the shortage. These programs are vital not only to retaining technicians but to repositioning the public’s perception of technician jobs as the high-tech, rewarding, new collar careers that they are.

The Techs Rock Awards are part of TechForce Foundation’s workforce development initiative to help inspire and support tomorrow’s workforce of technicians. TechForce has also created the first and only social network designed and gamified for professional technicians and tech students to connect with each other, employers and schools (JoinTechForce.org). The transportation community is supporting it with content and using it to learn, connect, find events, and explore job opportunities while competing for prizes and leaderboard status.

About TechForce Foundation
TechForce Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) with the mission to champion all students to and through their technical education and into careers as professional transportation technicians. The Foundation distributes more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants annually, thanks to its generous corporate sponsors and donors, and spearheads an industry-wide workforce development initiative to help encourage and support more young people to pursue the vehicle technician profession. For more information, visit www.techforce.org. Follow us on Facebook, InstagramTwitter and LinkedIn.

Resource Links

48-second Overview, featuring Bogi Lateiner – YouTube: https://youtu.be/2GmxTMb4x74

2021 Techs Rock Awards Logo: https://techforce.org/wp-content/uploads/TRA-2021_Awards-Full-Logo_Dark-Text.jpeg

2021 Techs Rock Awards website: TechForce.org/TechsRock

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Tackling The Technician Shortage | Tire Business



In this webinar Tire Business Reporter Kathy McCarron talks with Jennifer Maher of TechForce Foundation, and Dan Gilley of RLO Training about some of the initiatives underway to encourage young people to pursue an automotive service career and review ways tire dealers and auto repair shops can attract and retain qualified technicians.
 
 
The livestream webinar is also available on Tire Business’s website at the following link:
https://www.tirebusiness.com/tb-live-tackling-technician-shortage-what-can-dealerships-do-find-and-retain-technicians
 

Spark News | January 2021

Topics in Spark News for January 2021:

Available Scholarships | Be A Pathfinder Learning Style Quiz | SkillsUSA Outstanding CTE Educator Award | Scholarship Recipient Chasity overcomes obstacles. | Tire Business Live Stream webinar with Jen Maher | UTI consolidates Avondale & Phoenix campuses | ASE has a new website

TechForce Foundation scholarships

2021-01_Scholarship highlight_TF_Primary_Registered_FullColor@2xTechForce Foundation continues to support students in a wide range of transportation technician programs, with over $1 Million in scholarships and grants awarded each year. Learn more, hear student stories and apply here>>


Scholarship opportunities:

DEADLINE 3/31: Automotive Aftermarket Scholarships Central

2021-01_Scholarship highlight_aasc_logoApply to Automotive Aftermarket Scholarships Central today. All it takes is one application to be considered for hundreds of scholarships from more than 40 donors. Students planning to pursue a transportation technician career are encouraged to apply before the March 31, 2021 deadline. Apply today>>

DEADLINE 3/31: Opportunity for Minnesota Students

2021-01_Scholarship highlight_AASP MN logoThe Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota is awarding scholarships to students enrolled in post-secondary automotive programs. Eligible students must be entering their first or second year of an ASE-accredited program in the fall of 2021. Applications are due 3/31/2021. Learn more & apply>>


Resource Spotlight

#BeAPathfinder Learning Style Quiz

2021-01_Resource Highlight_Pathfinder quiz cover image

Discover your learning style! Take the quiz to find out how you learn best, and receive a free report with tailor-made tips for
your career and education success!

Find out if you are
a good fit for a
high-tech transportation industry career.

Take the Learning Style Quiz>>


Nominate your instructor! SkillsUSA Outstanding CTE Educator Award

2021-01_SkillsUSA Outstanding Educator Award_SkillsUSA-2c-Slogo-®-72dpiTechForce association partner SkillsUSA has opened nominations for its Outstanding Career and Technical Educator Award. The annual Award honors individual educators for their service and dedication to career and technical education and to SkillsUSA. Nominate an advisor/educator for Outstanding Career and Technical Educator, before the Feb. 15, 2021 deadline here>>

Scholarship recipient Chasity Gleason overcomes objectors to study welding

2021-01_Student Highlight_Chasity Gleason 1Meet Chasity Gleason, a TechForce Foundation scholarship recipient and welding student at Universal Technical Institute. Chasity is using the skills she learned as a MAC certified makeup artist to overcome partial blindness, defy those who told her she couldn’t and to rise to the top of her class. She is proof #WomenTechsRock.

Chasity’s advice to women going into the field? “Do it… Just do it, even if you’re scared!” Read Chasity’s inspiring story here>>

WEBINAR: Don’t miss CEO Jennifer Maher on Tire Business Live Stream

2021-01_Tire Business Webinar_TB_bubble_1-1Join TechForce Foundation CEO Jennifer Maher on Tire Business Live Tuesday, February 2nd at 2 PM EST/ 11 AM PST for a conversation on “Tackling the Technician Shortage: What can dealerships do to find and retain technicians?” Learn about the initiatives and opportunities available to young people interested in pursuing an automotive service. Reserve your spot today>>

Universal Technical Institute to consolidate Avondale and Phoenix, AZ campuses

2021-01_Partner highlight_UTI logo_ACT_UTI_LOGO_200831Longtime TechForce supporter and collaborator Universal Technical Institute (UTI) is combining its Avondale UTI and Phoenix MMI campuses. The resulting Avondale campus will become their largest in terms of size, number of students and breadth of programs. UTI also announced plans to merge its UTI and MMI Orlando campuses. To learn more read the full announcement here>>

TechForce association partner ASE launches new website

2021-01_Association partner highlight_ASE logoThe National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) recently launched its new website. From certification and testing resources to car tips, the updated site includes streamlined information and resources for professionals, students and more. Check out these resources on the new ase.com>>

Thank you to all TechForce Foundation partners!

2021-01_Thank you Partners_TFF ALL Partners Logo Lockup 210122Associations: Automotive Communications Council, Automotive Maintenance & Repair Association (AMRA), American Rental Association (ARA), Automotive Service Association (ASA), Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), ASE Education Foundation, ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC), Auto Care Association/Women in Auto Care, Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), Coordinating Committee for Automotive Repair (CCAR), Marine Retailers Association of the Americas (MRAA), Minnesota State Transportation Center of Excellence, National Association of Automobile Clubs of Canada (NAACC), National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF), National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), National Center for Autonomous Technology (NCAT), SkillsUSA and American Trucking Association’s Technology & Maintenance Council (TMC)

Celebrities: Lyn St. James (IndyCar), Bogi Lateiner (Girl Gang Garage), Steve Johnson (Steve Johnson Racing – NHRA) and Julia Landauer (Julia Landauer Racing – NASCAR)

For more news on TechForce Foundation, follow us on social media at the links below!

 

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TechForce releases 2020 Technician Supply & Demand Report

TechForce Report Reveals Demand for Vehicle Technicians
Continues to Outpace Supply by Nearly 3 to 1

Overall Gap in Supply and Demand of Transportation Technicians
Continues to Grow Despite Slight Uptick in Diesel Certifications

 

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. — August 31, 2020 — TechForce Foundation® has released its 2020 Transportation Technician Supply & Demand Report, that reveals the transportation technician shortage continues to worsen.

The 2020 Technician Supply & Demand Report supplements the Foundation’s previous reports, adjusting prior projections to reflect research from the National Center for Education Statistics and TechForce’s own analysis of Bureau of Labor Statistics data. Citing both increasing demand for professional techs and a declining supply of new techs entering the industry, the update concludes that the technician shortage is increasing in severity despite a slight uptick in new post-secondary degrees and certificates for future diesel technicians.

“Although demand is strong, with 642,000 auto/diesel/collision techs needed between 2020 and 2024, the shortage continues to worsen. The good news is these careers have been deemed essential by the government, and the transportation industry is organizing to do something about the shortage,” said Jennifer Maher, TechForce CEO. “TechForce’s campaigns are leveraging the industry’s collective voice to inspire the next generation of technicians and address the root causes of the shortage.”

Recent surveys show an increased interest in transportation technology work, both among younger students and career changers whose jobs may have been lost or furloughed because of the pandemic. Surveys of high school students show that more than half are open to something other than a four-year degree.

According to TechForce Director of National Initiatives Greg Settle, who authored the report, “Our projections do not reflect potential impact from the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we are seeing indications of increased interest in technical program enrollments. With our next report at year-end, we expect to be able to provide further insight into COVID-19 related trends.”

“Despite record rates of unemployment, there continues to be strong demand for our graduates,” says Jerome Grant, CEO of Universal Technical Institute. “Employers need skilled technicians to fill essential jobs and, as many in our nation look for new paths to prosperity, we’re seeing growing interest in our programs and in technical careers.”

You can download the 2020 Technician Supply & Demand Report here. For additional information about secure, successful careers in transportation technology, visit techforce.org.

About TechForce Foundation
TechForce Foundation is a nonprofit, 501(c)(3) with the mission to champion students to and through their technical education and into careers as professional transportation technicians. TechForce distributes more than $1.5 million in scholarships and grants annually, thanks to its generous corporate sponsors and donors. It also spearheads a workforce development initiative to help encourage and support more young people to pursue the vehicle technician profession. TechForce is a partner organization of America’s Automotive Trust, LeMay – America’s Car Museum and RPM Foundation. Learn more at www.techforce.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn.

A speedometer needle and arch over the words "642,000 Auto/Diesel/Collision technicians needed between 2020 and 2024." Download infographics here.

 

 

 

 

 

Media Contact
Mike Pressendo, mpressendo@techforce.org, (623) 445-9354

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Your Guide to Apprenticeships

This article originally appeared on April 3, 2018 in Ratchet+Wrench; written by Travis Bean.


A fully realized apprenticeship program involves higher-level thinking on the shop owner’s part. Here’s how to build that program, step by step.

 

As Sarah Price and Cindy Weinberg take their turns at the podium, they address the store managers, the mentors, the company’s CEO in attendance.

Oh, and we can’t forget the most important guests: the employees who have just graduated from Virginia Tire & Auto’s apprenticeship program.

“My message to everyone is to keep learning,” Weinberg says, thinking back on that day. “The learning is never over.”

“I tell them that they accomplished this goal,” Price adds, “and they are going to have many more goals to accomplish.”

You’ll note a core message shared between the training manager (Price) and director of talent development (Weinberg) just before they hand out graduation certificates to the former apprentices: there’s a culture of learning at Virginia Tire & Auto. In order for the 13-location auto repair business to cultivate lifelong employees, its apprenticeship program must do more than coach young technicians and service advisors on the basics of the business—it must present auto repair as a viable, fulfilling career.

And that’s where apprenticeship programs trip many shop owners up, says Wayne Martella. With two apprentices always on rotation between his four AAMCO shops in Mesa, Ariz., he knows how difficult it can be to not only oversee an apprenticeship, but also to ensure mentees are getting the full picture of the industry, and ensure that mentors are properly cultivating future leaders. From the moment apprentices walk into your shop to the moment they become full-time professionals, you must build a foundation for them to thrive.

Luckily, if you follow advice from people well versed in the practice, you’ll be ready to build a better future for your shop—a better future for the industry.

 

Part 1: Create a Funnel

 

If the automotive repair industry categorizes wannabe professionals as hindrances, it won’t truly connect with those interested in a career—a truth the TechForce Foundation deeply understands.

Jennifer Maher is the CEO of TechForce, a nonprofit that guides students through a technical education into the automotive industry. She’s seen firsthand how apprenticeships are an important component of an evolving, growing business—but she’s also witnessed why many of them fail:

“You can’t just set up a program and expect people to walk in.”

While there are currently 5.8 million unfilled trade openings in this country (according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics), Dr. Sally Downey says a proper education funnel can reverse that trend. And as the superintendent of the East Valley Institute of Technology (EVIT)—which set up more high school students with jobs than any other U.S. program—she should understand that more than anyone.

“Students need the real deal,” she says. “They can learn in the classroom, but being in a business is part of the experience they need to have.”

EVIT, situated in Eastern Arizona, is a public education system that hosts more than 40 career training programs, ranging from culinary arts to health care to, yes, automotive repair. Through those programs, roughly 240 automotive students from 10 school districts each year will simultaneously attend high school and receive two years of career training through area businesses—including Martella’s AAMCO shops.

As three individuals consumed with guiding students into a profession, Maher, Downey and Martella have some advice for ensuring there’s a steady stream of employees ready for your shop’s apprenticeship program.

 

Partner with Shops.

 

Downey says EVIT is the only high school in the East Valley of Arizona certified by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF), which allows the school to effectively communicate with area businesses.

The thing is, auto repair shops need to be willing to collaborate—and NATEF can help facilitate that.

NATEF helps schools form local advisory committees of industry professionals, bridging the gap between education and industry. The area shops on Martella’s advisory board host students at various apprenticeships throughout the year, exposing those students to different systems, processes and specializations.

“We help the EVIT curriculum stay current with the aftermarket,” he says. “It allows us to talk with students and their parents from early high school through their senior year in high school, and reassure them that working in automotive trade is not a bad thing.”

 

Connect with Counselors, Parents.

 

You won’t reach any students if they’re being deterred from trades altogether by parents and counselors, who often believe a traditional four-year university is the only prosperous route, Maher says.

“The industry should pull those parents and counselors in, engage them, let them not forget they are vitally important to fuel future tech workforce,” she says. “We have to paint the picture for them with career opportunities and dispel those myths.”

Maher says it’s important to be upfront about how pay structures work in shops and how much students can make in the profession. Also, play up how sophisticated cars have become, and how vehicle repair requires a deep understanding of electrical and computing systems.

Martella loves attending career days, where he can talk to both students and parents about the opportunities the trade presents. He’s sure to talk up the continuous education available and the higher-than-expected salaries kids can aspire to earn.

“I have A-techs making over $100,000,” he says. “The old stigma of the grease monkey is gone. Techs today need to be very literate, computer savvy. If your son or daughter is not college bound, I tell them it’s OK to be in the automotive industry.”

 

Provide Equipment to Students.

 

In order for EVIT’s six automotive teachers to properly train students for the real world, Downey says they need the best equipment.

Luckily, used equipment donated from shops often comes in handy. Everything from scan tools to scrapped engines goes a long way in getting students shop-ready at EVIT.

As an incentive, EVIT encourages businesses to apply for a tax credit for donating equipment. Unlike a regular deduction that only allows you to subtract the contribution from your taxable income, a tax credit is a dollar-for-dollar deduction in the actual tax owed.

 

TechForce Foundation’s iHub

 

Solving the employee crisis isn’t a one-man job—and that’s why TechForce Foundation wants to connect all the important players through one centralized hub.

“The industry doesn’t need us to create apprenticeship programs,” CEO Jennifer Maher says of her nonprofit that guides students through a technical education into the automotive industry. “It needs us to find where those great programs are, and promote them to parents and students and shops.”

The result has been iHub (which stands for “industry hub”), TechForce’s collection of best practices from automotive companies (including automotive repair organizations and shops) from around country for promoting students into the industry.

 

Part 2: Form a Gameplan

 

Greg Settle would really like to delve into the structure of the actual apprenticeship once the student is in the shop—but there’s one bit of preparation he needs to stress first.

“You need a written plan to follow,” says TechForce’s director of national initiatives. “What tasks you’ll be covering, and what information they’ll be learning.”

Settle recommends closely following the NATEF guidelines for apprenticeships, and creating SOPs for how the apprenticeship process will work for mentors, apprentices and the person overseeing both parties (e.g., the shop owner). Meet with your team to determine your shop’s strengths and to discuss which skills are most essential to people looking to break into the industry. Map out a timeline that moves students between various specialties and tasks to give them a rounded view of daily shop life.

Luckily, to help, Settle has noted what typically works best for an apprenticeship program, while Price, Weinberg and Martella have outlined their shops’ programs for Ratchet+Wrench. While this isn’t an exact outline of one single program, the following gameplan generally covers the consistencies between several businesses and how apprentices are properly onboarded, trained and acclimated into shop life.

 

The Evaluation

 

On a quarterly basis, Virginia Tire & Auto reviews applicants to its apprenticeship program. They are evaluated, and if chosen, then paired with a Master Technician.

Based on the apprentice’s skill level, the length of the apprenticeship can vary. If a tech student shows promise, but needs a couple more years of experience, the time frame may vary from someone who is out of school.

If the apprentice is splitting time between school and the shop, Martella will have him or her come in after school a few days per week, and sometimes even work half-days on Saturdays (since his shop is open). Often, that part-time apprenticeship will segue into a full-time apprenticeship during summer break, or if the individual graduates.

From there, Martella says the technician’s graduation from C- or D-level positions depends entirely on the apprentice’s aptitude. An apprenticeship can last anywhere from 3 months to one year before the apprentice is moved into a permanent position.

 

The Education

 

This is where apprentices review the company’s basic daily tasks, and various detailed shop processes. Basic processes involve everything after the client drops off his or her vehicle. The advisor gets the information, then dispatches the technician’s work, and then walks him or her through all the way to the end of the actual customer vehicle process.

Detailed processes include:

  • A comprehensive vehicle inspection process
  • The repair order
  • Software functionality
  • Repair ticket schedules
  • Properly formatting estimates and notes

The shop also reviews the software for technician resources, including diagnostic processes, the vehicle test drive procedures and checking fluids.

 

The Practice

 

Here, apprentices put all these processes and procedures they’ve been trained on into practice. As they do this, their mentors will watch them, guide them, prepare them, and perfect their quality control.

During the first year at Virginia Tire & Auto, Price says that apprentices specifically focus on four service items:

  • Steering and suspension
  • Brakes
  • Air conditioning
  • Engine repair

If the apprentice shows promise at Martella’s shop, he or she will upgrade to more sophisticated duties, such as diagnostics.

 

The Shadowing

 

This is the final step before apprentices are on their own. The trainee will work alongside the trainer for several months, applying the knowledge from the previous steps.

The trainee will have each step of the process verified for accuracy before moving on to the next step. The mentor will judge how much freedom he or she is allowed based on skills and work ethic.

At this point, apprentices are expected to have done the necessary research and preparation to know the car before it comes in. They check it properly, they test drive it—all the duties a full-time employee is expected to perform.

Once they prove they can do that, they’re ready to operate on their own.

 

Determine the Payment Structure

 

Every source quoted in this story echoes the same sentiment: You need to pay your apprentices.

While an “apprenticeship” is often viewed differently than an “internship,” Cindy Weinberg, director of talent development for Virginia Tire & Auto, says that often apprentices are looking for longevity and supporting families, and a lack of compensation could turn many of them off.

Sarah Price, training manager for Virginia Tire, says that the company even pays for ASE certification, study guides and online automotive tech training courses when necessary. The company will also offer interest-free loans to apprentices to purchase tools. Those loans come straight out of employee paychecks.

It’s even important to consider compensating your mentors, who will have to juggle teaching and their regular work. To help, the TechForce Foundation is developing a payment calculator on its website that dictates how much both parties should be paid, how many hours will be flagged during the mentorship, and what income each party will accrue over time. Stay posted for a link when it’s published.

 

Part 3: Onboard Apprentices

 

With this gameplan, you’ll have outlined an apprenticeship blueprint for both parties, meaning you can properly set expectations for both employees and students ahead of the process.

At Martella’s shop, the apprentices sit down for an orientation on the first day, where they review the company policies, the facility, the tools, the resources available, the parts processes, and the technician responsibilities in an employee handbook. That includes everything from hiring forms to a facility tour. There are regular evaluations that test the apprentices’ knowledge on these processes.

Settle says apprentices should be expected to recall shop basics:

  • Can you state our core values and philosophies?
  • Can you prove you can keep yourself organized?
  • Are you managing personal volume levels?
  • Can you identify the location of the diagnostic equipment?
  • Do you know to properly use the lifts, spring compressors, presses and flush tools?

And while your employees will help shape the apprenticeship blueprint, they—just like the students—will still need to be properly “onboarded,” meaning they’ll need training and advice for how to mentor students.

Price says that Virginia Tire & Auto is blessed with many master techs, who only need a tiny bit of guidance on how to properly train apprentices. Still, Price travels to the company’s 13 different locations throughout the year to check in with apprentices and mentors to ensure apprentices are making forward progress and train master techs on how to be good mentors. Price encourages patience with mentees and asks them to set expectations each day so apprentices have something to work toward.

 

Cover Liabilities

 

Many automotive repair shop owners fear the liabilities associated with minors working at their facilities, says Greg Settle, director of national initiatives for TechForce Foundation.

But if simple precautions are considered, it shouldn’t be a problem, says David Whitney, vice president of the retail profit center at Zurich Insurance, which works with shops and dealerships.

He provided some important legal advice for forming apprenticeship programs:

  1. Apprentices should be subject to the same employment standards in place for all other employees, including appropriate background checks, motor vehicle report checks and drug testing.
  2. Minors should be prohibited from operating vehicles under any circumstance.
  3. Apprentices should receive all appropriate new hire training offered to other employees, including how to properly handle flammable liquids, machinery and other equipment.
  4. Host anti-discrimination and harassment prevention training, with documentation verifying this and kept in the apprentice’s personnel file.
  5. If you host students for tours, properly train individuals who will be responsible for said tours. Create a written checklist that outlines the tour route and addresses any hazards one may encounter during the tour.

 

Part 4: Monitor the Apprenticeship

 

Maher has overseen marketing and headed corporate alliances at both YMCA and Make-A-Wish America, where she observed the importance of higher-level planning on a national scale from an executive level.

But, at the end of the day, she acknowledges it’s really all about those small, intimate relationships that go on to reshape lives.

“One person can make a difference,” she says. “If one person exposes them to the career, it can completely alter their life. That’s why apprenticeship programs are so important.”

The apprentice applicants are interviewed by available mentors and paired accordingly. Then, when an applicant is placed in the apprentice program, he or she begins working with the mentor and at the first hands-on monthly training is provided with a packet that includes an “Individual Development Plan” and tips for communicating with mentors. Within that packet, mentors and mentees outline three goals for the first year of the apprenticeship.

From there, Sarah works with the master tech to deliver hands on training to apprentices once a month, visits the individual apprentices in the stores, and meets quarterly with the apprentice, mentor and store leadership to review a scorecard on the apprentice’s progress in the program..

Often, because of this practice, mentees graduate from the program and become mentors themselves, creating a cycle that ensures Virginia Tire continually pumps out new quality employees as it continues to grow.


 

Travis Bean is the associate editor for FenderBender, Ratchet+Wrench and Fixed Ops Business.

 

 

 

75,900 Auto Technicians Needed

Previously, BLS projections showed an average annual new entrant demand of 23,720 auto technicians for the 2014-2024 period. TechForce’s report has revised that number to show demand for 75,900 for the 2016-2026 decade. The demand for collision and diesel technicians is similar. The newly projected BLS average annual new entrant demand of 28,300 diesel technicians far exceeds the previously projected demand of 7,690.

Read the full article on www.Automotive-Fleet.com | Technician Shortage

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TechForce Foundation is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization with the mission to champion all students to and through their education and into careers as professional technicians. 

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