Posted to Industry Issues Forum on 4/7/2016
What Is It That We don't Get?
I've about had it with the trade media editorials demanding
more education as a remedy for our current technician
Our major problem with recruiting new talent is that our
industry leadership "Just doesn't get it."
Instead of keeping up with the times, many in our industry
are stuck in the mindset of the 1950s when an an academic
underachiever was placed in auto mechanics programs so "He
could work with his hands." Unfortunately, our management
methods and pay structure have since followed that very
flawed vocational model.
And, using that same 1950s mindset, we continue to counsel
academic under-achievers into our auto mechanics programs
even as we criticize our instructors for not producing
finished auto technicians.
With that said, it's never been possible to produce a
finished technician within an 1,100 clock-hour community
college program. We taught 1,100 hours 40 years ago when
vehicles were equipped with carburetors and point ignitions.
We still find ourselves limited to just 1,100 hours when
teaching how to diagnose and repair vehicles that, instead
of carbs and points, are equipped with highly sophisticated
electronic engine management systems.
Our major problem is that industry simply doesn't accept, in
practice, that auto repair has become a highly sophisticated
If industry does indeed want to solve its technician
shortage, it must actively support internship programs that
allow an auto mechanics student to complete his training by
working alongside experienced technicians in a commercial
Instead of trying to steal qualified technicians from other
shops, industry should begin teaching its best technicians
how to mentor internship students and how to move them along
toward becoming journeyman technicians.
If we really want to solve the technician shortage, industry
should also begin by providing the new recruit as well as
the experienced veteran with pay and working conditions
commensurate with the level of education and skill now being
Right now, we're losing many new recruits to industries
willing to provide pay and benefits more in line with the
performance levels now being demanded of modern automotive
Yes, we need education and training. But we also need the
pay, benefits, and working conditions that go along with
that education and training.
What is it that our "media people" and "industry leaders"
Gary from Colorado
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62 Replies Received