The funds will support a campaign designed to feed the pipeline of future employees by changing the narrative about automotive service careers, informing potential students and employees about the number of rewarding opportunities that exist within the automotive industry – AND helping students who have the skills and profile for success explore career decisions in the trade. This is an effort of a newly-formed group, Minnesota Careers in Automotive Repair and Service – aka MNCARS – of which AASP-MN is a member.
MNCARS is made up of a cross-section of industry representatives, including independent repair shops, new car dealers, multiple shop operators (MSOs), suppliers, insurers, technical college administrators and other industry organizations.
The goal of MNCARS is to ensure a future workforce for Minnesota’s automotive service industry by raising awareness and recruiting young people into post-secondary automotive education programs (collision and mechanical) and industry careers.
MNCARS has partnered with Risdall, a leading marketing and communications agency, to develop and oversee the two-year campaign.
Important elements of the initiative will include:
- Connecting with potential students, their parents, and high school influencers, including counselors, to provide a better picture of the pathways to success and opportunity available in the automotive industry
- Developing an online site to serve as a centerpiece in educating target audiences and the broader community on the opportunities available within the automotive industry. This hub, and accompanying printed materials, will share the exciting careers, success stories, and advantages that a two-year automotive program offers in getting started in the workforce
- Hosting live events at schools and community locations to engage students in both fun and informative activities to allow them to begin to think of automotive repair as more than a hobby
- Creating an “influencer kit” to provide professionals that work with students a simple-to-use toolkit that presents positive information on the industry and career options
- Media stories and outreach to address misperceptions and inform individuals throughout Minnesota of opportunities within the automotive service industry
The AASP-MN Board of Directors identified the availability of a future workforce as a key priority for the association during its strategic planning session in early 2014. Since that time, AASP-MN has dedicated time, money and resources to support various projects and outreach efforts to high school automotive instructors and counselors, as well as scholarships for post-secondary automotive students.
“It’s time our industry was intentional about its collective brand as employers,” said Judell Anderson, AASP-MN Executive Director. “It will take a collaborative and unified effort to cut through all the ‘noise’ and overcome the misperceptions about working in the automotive service industry and attract the kind of high-level employees we need. The MNCARS initiative is designed to accomplish just that.”
Sponsorship opportunities are available for those within the industry to support these important efforts. Sponsorship can range from one time or annual pledges, to corporate sponsorships which will include prominent placement and recognition on the MNCARS campaign website.