In facing the technician shortage, there are plenty of ways to reach young people, including getting involved with local high schools and community colleges, and offering scholarships. Patrick McHugh, owner of Richmond, Va.-based Bimmer Rescue, found another creative way to offer his time to get young people into his shop and teach them about the industry.
On certain Saturdays, from 9-12 p.m., McHugh puts on a class for kids that are 12-16 years old. Many of these kids are trying to get their car care certification for their merit badges, as they are trying to achieve Eagle Scout.
“There are a lot of kids who don’t want to be there, they have other aspirations,” McHugh says. “But there’s always a couple kids in the front row who are eating it up.”
McHugh teaches them basic skills like how to change a tire, how to jump start a car and how to change oil. Additionally, he’ll lay out the various career paths these kids can follow to become a technician.
Not only is this a rewarding experience for McHugh, as he gets to relay his passions to the younger generation, he’s found that it’s been great PR for his business.
“Everytime we do this, we end up scheduling appointments for parents who want to come in,” McHugh says. “After they see that in my shop, they want to support that.”