NORTHEAST Show to Include Panel Discussion on Labor Rates

NORTHEAST Show to Include Panel Discussion on Labor Rates

Panelists will share real-world experiences and discuss past, present and future initiatives to address the labor rate crisis.

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey (AASP/NJ) announced that the 2022 NORTHEAST Automotive Services Show, taking place March 18-20 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (MEC) in Secaucus, N.J., will include a panel discussion on labor rates.

The panel discussion, titled “Labor Rate 2022 & Beyond: How to Get What You’re Worth,” will be moderated by veteran auto body journalist Joel Gausten and feature AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee, Lucky Papageorg (Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts), Burl Richards (Auto Body Association of Texas), Barrett Smith (Auto Damage Experts, Inc.) and Sam and Richard Valenzuela (National AutoBody Research).

In addition to sharing real-world experiences and discussing past, present and future initiatives to address the labor rate crisis, panelists will offer insights on ways shops can advocate for the elevation of the industry and the success of repair professionals as a whole.

“Paying attention to what is going on and attending this panel is an important step in finding out what others are doing to combat the labor rate challenge,” said McNee. “I don’t think there is a shop out there that feels the current rate is fair or justifiable.

“Just because the insurance company says so doesn’t mean it is. Every time you request a rate, they say, ‘There’s nothing I can do,’ ‘It’s above my pay grade’ or ‘I don’t make the decisions.’ We’ve been hearing that same old song and dance for years. Pathetically, there are a few insurance companies that will throw us a couple of dollars or a $1 an hour raise. But it’s comical — all that does is benefit the insurer and their bottom line. If you get a $1 increase in your rates, what are you going to do about it? It’s already gobbled up before you have even received it.“

The labor rate panel discussion will take place Saturday, March 19 at 1:30 p.m.

To pre-register for free show badges and keep up with the latest information and announcements about NORTHEAST 2022, visit

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