The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) announced that they participated as a sponsor of the New Jersey Area High School/College Transportation Career Fair Nov. 21 at the Mercedes-Benz Learning & Performance Center in Robbinsville. N.J. The event was organized by the Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF).
Charles Bryant, executive director of the AASP/NJ, Jerry McNee, president of the AASP/NJ, and Tom Elder, treasurer of the AASP/NJ, were on hand to interact with students interested in exploring a career in collision repair. They also welcomed soon-to-be graduating students to join the association’s growing labor pool, which matches workers seeking employment with member shops looking to hire.
“We’re excited to be here to help bring fresh blood into the industry today,” said Bryant. “It’s important to have young people come in because [the industry] is changing. There are some who have been in this a long time who are not familiar with new procedures and don’t want to start over and learn again. So, it’s great to see new faces coming in to learn the trade and pick up where older people are leaving off.”
Through multiple breakout sessions, AASP/NJ leaders spoke one-on-one with students about the benefits of exploring careers in the automotive field.
“Every one of you will find a home. There is no question about it,” McNee told the students.
McNee pointed out that work opportunities will be available whether students plan to pursue collision or mechanical careers, as all collision shops and dealerships need mechanics in addition to collision technicians.
“When I started, computers weren’t relevant,” he said. “Today, every time you turn the corner, something has a computer as the cars are getting more and more advanced.
“AASP/NJ is here to help you. We want to support you. There isn’t a shop in the state or country that is not looking for qualified technicians.”
Added Elder, “You need to work hard at getting as much training and as many certifications as you can. There is so much work out there, guys and girls. There’s plenty to do and there are good opportunities.”
For more information on AASP/NJ, visit aaspnj.org.