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Attracting an Apprentice

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Stepping into the advanced automotive class in his high school, Jake Sorensen saw a wasteland of potential. Right away, he knew that by walking into the class, he wasn’t walking toward what anyone in the school deemed a rewarding career, rather, he was being set aside along with other students who weren’t pursuing a four-year degree, making them unworthy of anyone’s time. Rather than learning anything, Sorensen—an underclassman that wasn’t even technically supposed to be in the class—ended up teaching the instructor how to use an alignment machine.   

Sadly, Sorensen says that from what he’s seen, this outlook on auto repair as a career hasn’t changed. Schools tend to push students with “potential” toward four-year universities and rarely discuss the benefits of a career in the trades. Sorensen is doing his part to change all of that. He’s created a federally accredited apprenticeship program at the business he works at, McNeil’s Auto Care in Utah, and attracts potential talent by showcasing the technologically-advanced skills that are needed to fix today’s vehicles. 

“There are a few that see the potential,” Sorensen says. “You just have to find them.” 

Sorensen, along with two others that run apprenticeship programs, share how to attract top quality candidates.


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