A new association based out of New York City is hoping to create a community of automotive repair professionals, including collision repair professionals, through the five boroughs of New York City – Manhattan, Brooklyn, Queens, The Bronx and Staten Island. The New York City Auto Repair Association (NYCARA) is a non-profit organization looking to offer its members educational seminars, programs and support based on the unique issues and needs of the city.
The driving force behind the creation of this new association was Paul Stern, owner of LIFTNOW, an automotive equipment distributor in the New York tri-state area, and his son, Paul Stern Jr., who handles the company’s marketing and business development.
“We have a lot of contact with our customers, and we’ve heard the message over and over again that there’s really a need for education and for a community, especially in the five boroughs,” said Stern Jr. “We started by talking to some of our customers and ran the idea for an association past them and pretty much got immediate, overwhelming support and positive reception.”
Stern Jr. said that the reason they decided to create an association that included all professionals in the auto repair industry and not just mechanical or collision repairers is because they believe bringing everyone together will actually create a better organization.
“I think when you start to cross over from general repair to body shops to students of technical high schools and colleges in the area, and get all those people of varying sizes, levels of education and different ways of doing business in a room, you’re going to get different knowledge bases than you would if you had a more homogenous group,” said Stern Jr.
Stern Jr. said the association is also welcoming industry professionals from outside the five boroughs, including Long Island and Westchester. The association hopes to address the unique issues New York City shops deal with such as space and lease constraints, insurance laws and fierce competition.
In addition to the quarterly meetings and educational seminars, Stern Jr. said he hopes the association will be able to partner with other associations to improve education and networking within the industry.
“We have a couple of external speakers already lined up, but in the future, a whole other venture we’ve considered is even hosting career building events for students or networking events for students and shops,” said Stern Jr.
Right now, the organization has one speaker planned for this spring, Dahlia Benaroya, of Constant Contact on April 10, who will be talking about email marketing success for the repair shop.
For more information about NYCARA, visit nycara.org.