LAS VEGAS, Nev.—Nov. 1, 2017—The National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) discussed various agenda items today in a press conference held at AAPEX 2017, including fixing a prominent industry problem — the technician shortage.
Greg Settle, director of national initiatives for the TechForce Foundation, presented on a featured session titled “The Road to Great Technicians.”
Chris Chesney, senior director of customer training for Advanced Auto Parts opened the discussion explaining that the industry has done a bad job at explaining the possibilities that this industry can provide when it comes to a career.
“We work in the most complex industry on the planet,” Chesney says.
In a video shown by Settle, today’s vehicle has more technology than the first space shuttle, echoing that fast-changing industry in which these kids can be a part of.
And it all starts with convincing their parents. Chesney says that if we can convince the parents that this career has value, it would make a great start in aiding this shortage.
The TechForce Foundation, which has a mission to encourage and support students in technical education by providing resources such as grants, scholarships and career development, plans to combat this problem in a threefold manner.
Inspire, support and connect are the three phases that contribute, which each include hands-on classes, online resources, networking opportunities and more.
Settle says there are few places where kids can go when it comes to breaking into the industry. Hands-on, tactile afterschool and summer programs are crucial for helping kids understand the capabilities of the industry.
TechForce is working with the Arizona Science Center in hopes of creating after school programs. The foundation is also talking to boys and girls clubs for extra backing on the initiative.
“Students everywhere need help,” Settle says. “In this industry, we need all hands on deck.”
Other organizations that have supported the initiative include Autoshop Solutions, Advance Auto Parts, Interstate Batteries, Nissan and much more, including Ratchet+Wrench’s own 10 Missions Media.