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Industry Needs 75,900 New Automotive Technicians

November 9, 2017

According to a new report, the shortage of automotive technicians is much more severe than previously calculated, and it will take at least two or three more years for the recovery to begin.

The TechForce Foundation commissioned a report to detail the shortage in large part because statistics from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) haven’t provided an accurate view.


The foundation says the discrepancy was caused by two key factors:

The demand projections were calculated for a 10-year period, and an average annual amount was calculated for each of those 10 years. “By averaging over such a long period however, much of the cyclicality of demand is greatly minimized. The new TechForce projections provide annual projections by year and eliminate the averages, allowing for better planning by employers.
The BLS had underestimated the demand for replacing technicians who were promoted to other jobs, those who retired, and those who decided to find a new career. (The BLS has revised its methodology and its new projections for 2016-2026 reflect that, the foundation says.)

What’s caused the demand?

The report says the automotive industry was hit with a “perfect storm” of factors that caused an increase in demand for technicians:

- The economy: A strong, growing economy has created more demand for the automotive sector, as well as other transportation service sectors.

- Playing catch up: Many technicians left the workforce as a result of the Great Recession of 2008. The demand to re-fill those positions comes on top of regular demand.

- Other: There’s been a stabilization in the factors that earlier reduced demand: greater vehicle reliability, dealer consolidation and longer maintenance intervals. The increasing complexity of vehicles has made the need for technician training more critical. “On-the-job training is only sufficient for the least-skilled positions.”

The numbers

The BLS now estimates demand for entrant automotive technicians from 2016 to 2016 is 75,900 – more than triple the agency’s prior estimate.

TechForce Foundation says the demand since 2013 has been particularly higher due to the recovery since the Great Recession.

One big problem, the foundation points out, is that the BLS didn’t account enough for those leaving technicians jobs. The BLS assigned an annual replacement rate of 2.7% of total technicians – which the TechForce Foundation says is “hardly enough to cover baby boom retirements alone.”

TechForce says credible numbers for new entrant technicians are needed by the industry itself, but also as a way to “convince educators, regulators, politicians, parents, students, career counselors and others that great job opportunities exist, and that career and technical education is vital.”

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FCA US Expands Technician Training Program

FCA US Expands Technician Training Program, Launches “Assemble Your Future” Campaign

Mopar Career Automotive Program to offer networking and track experience
Students can meet with dealers, Dodge//SRT and Mopar-sponsored professional drivers and FCA technicians
Campaign aimed at boosting interest in technician careers

January 25, 2019 , Auburn Hills, Mich. -

The Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP), an FCA US LLC initiative aimed at developing the next-generation of service technicians, launched a new and innovative networking campaign designed to link students with potential career opportunities.

The “Assemble Your Future” campaign gives students the opportunity to meet with dealer representatives, FCA technicians and Dodge//SRT and Mopar-sponsored professional racing teams. About 40 Mopar CAP students, instructors and dealers located near four different National Hot Rod Association (NHRA) national events will be invited to the track for a day of networking.


“We want our students to not only see the entire spectrum of a service technician career, but also take steps to make it happen by talking to potential employers or someone who has been there before and found success,” said Steve Beahm, Head of Parts and Service (Mopar) and Passenger Car Brands, FCA - North America. “These are very good jobs that offer a solid income and the chance to work on some of the hottest brands with some of the coolest technology in the market.”

Mopar CAP prepares students to begin their automotive technician careers upon graduation from a certified, two-year training institution, such as a university, college, community college or technical center. Currently, FCA has 9,000 active students enrolled in its Mopar CAP program.

There are an estimated 750,000 auto technicians working nationally, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Another 46,000 will need to be hired between 2019 and 2026 to meet increased demand.

"Assemble Your Future" will focus on NHRA national events scheduled for Houston in April, Denver in July, a September stop near Reading, Pennsylvania, and a final race in Las Vegas in the fall.

The races will cover about 15 schools operating in those areas. The goal is to continue expanding the campaign by adding more racing venues over the coming years.

“We want to start slow and then continue to build,” said Keith Yancy, director of the FCA Performance Institute. “Our hope is to expand this campaign so we can reach all of our 99 schools now teaching our CAP curriculum.”
 
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