The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) recently debuted its brand-new Young Technician Award, given to a promising young technician who has worked in a member shop for less than five years.
On the first night of the 2021 NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show, AASP/NJ Allied Board Member Joe Amato, Sr., president of the Amato Insurance Agency (a division of World Insurance Associates, LLC), presented Casey Dombroski of Rico’s Auto Body (Robbinsville Township) with a personalized plaque commemorating the honor as well as a $5,000 Snap-on tool grant funded by a donation from the Utica National Group Foundation.
“We awarded the first-ever Young Technician Award to a deserving young man,” said Amato. “We were really excited about giving this opportunity to support someone who has recently committed to the industry and needs some help filling their tool chest. I was honored to sit on the selection committee.”
Debbie Tallman, office manager at Rico’s Auto Body, nominated Dombroski for the award.
“Casey is a hard worker who is eager to learn new things,” said Tallman. “He’s a polite young man and is always willing to help – he’s more than happy to do whatever we need. Although he has a few tools, he would love to augment his toolbox as he plans to continue working in the industry; however, tools are expensive, so I thought he would appreciate the chance to win some tools through AASP/NJ. It’s awesome that the Young Technician Award exists, and I’m so excited that Casey won!”
Excitement was just one of the emotions that Dombroski expressed upon receiving the award.
“I’m very grateful to have been given the Young Technician Award,” he said. “The fact that my employer took the time to enter me in recognition of the hard work I’ve been doing is an honor in itself.”
Dombroski has always been a car hobbyist and began working at Rico’s Auto Body a year and a half ago.
“When I chose collision repair, I actually found a career that I love. The tool grant has been very helpful; I now have all the tools I currently need to make my job a little easier. Being able to continue the job, without needing to stop and borrow a tool, means the work gets completed faster and our customers are happier. I’ve never really won anything before, so I appreciate being chosen and want to say a huge ‘thank you’ to AASP/NJ for selecting me.”
Once Utica National Insurance Group expressed interest in providing a benefit to AASP/NJ through its charitable foundation, AASP/NJ’s Scholarship Committee consulted with Snap-on, who provided the association with a discount on tools to be purchased with the $5,000 award money.
“The automotive industry is experiencing a serious technician shortage, and AASP/NJ’s Scholarship Committee was created with the intention of helping young aspiring technicians continue with a career in the automotive industry,” said Ken Miller of 821 Collision in North Haledon and member of the AASP/NJ Scholarship Committee. “Filling your first toolbox with the needed tools can be difficult and very costly for a young technician. The committee felt that providing the necessary starting tools would be a great ‘head start’ for a young technician.
“Thanks to Utica’s generous grant, we were able to make this a reality. Several great candidates applied for the award, and although we had a difficult decision, we chose Casey because we felt it would most benefit his work situation and help to keep him in the automotive repair field. We look forward to continuing this program in the future and growing the technician base for the industry.”
Added AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant, “No one has to tell me how difficult it is for a young technician to get started in the industry, never mind how difficult it is to obtain the tools necessary to perform the work safely and properly, as I actually lived it when I first started. It was a struggle to buy my first paint gun, and I can’t even begin to tell you the joy I felt when I got it. With that said, I cannot even imagine how great Casey must have felt to be the one chosen to receive the Young Technician Award. At the same time, I feel so honored to be part of the group that presented the award. Thank you so much to the Amato Insurance Agency and Utica National Insurance Group for making it possible for AASP/NJ to present such a great award.”