The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) announced that its president, Jerry McNee, recently participated in the Collision Repair Education Foundation’s (CREF) 20th Annual Golf Outing, co-hosted by PPG Automotive Finishes and held at the Edgewood Country Club in Pittsburgh, Pa.
“There’s no question about it — we all see the need for young technicians,” said McNee. “Let’s face it: shop owners are getting older, and if nobody is entering this industry, it’s easy to see our struggle. You advertise looking for an employee, no matter what position, I don’t have to tell you what’s showing up … if they show up at all. It’s very difficult. If we don’t get young blood in this industry, we’re going to age out, shrivel up and fall to the wayside.”
Since 1991, CREF has supported collision repair educational programs, schools and students through their grant and scholarship programs to ensure graduates are qualified, entry-level employees. CREF also strives to connect new collision professionals with the vast array of career opportunities within the industry by partnering with industry businesses to host career fairs each fall and spring, but their efforts require the industry’s assistance through monetary and in-kind donations as well as other types of involvement.
“We’re all fighting for the same technicians. We need new techs, and we need to get the young people involved,” McNee said. “CREF focuses on exactly that through their scholarships, tool grants and work with schools and students. We need to support the organizations that are supporting others, so getting involved with the foundation is just as important as anything we do. Getting involved and donating to CREF supports their efforts to help schools and students. They’re doing this for a reason, and that’s to help shops, but we have to get out there and help them too!”
For more information on CREF, visit collisioneducationfoundation.org.
For more information on AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org.