The Society of Collision Repair Specialists (SCRS) will be hosting the annual “Repairer Roundtable” from 8:30 a.m. to 11:00 am on Wednesday, April 17 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn.
Tennessee Workforce Development
This year’s presentations will begin with Ann Thompson, director of workforce development at the Tennessee Department of Economic & Community Development, and Kenyatta Lovett, Ph.D., executive director at Complete Tennessee, who will speak to unique programs in the state designed to drive more high school graduates into vocational schools. They will also discuss adult-oriented support programs designed to help busy adults revisit their career opportunities. All programs are aimed at developing a stronger workforce.
The presentation will cover statistics relating to the success of their last-dollar scholarship, programs that offer the opportunity to earn a degree or certificate from a community or technical college. In addition, Thompson and Lovett will lead a conversation surrounding the identification and strategic planning process at the state level, and resulting steps to make changes that impacted the output of new entrants into the workforce to serve the growing needs of manufacturing and trade-related businesses in Tennessee.
Nissan Workforce Development
Next up with be Dan Caldwell, senior manager of Learning Pathways for Nissan’s U.S. manufacturing operations. His team serves a population of 17,000, enabling their personal and professional growth in the fields of leadership, engineering and maintenance, and works within the communities they serve to prepare citizens for meaningful careers in advanced manufacturing and associated trades.
With the highest-producing manufacturing plant in North America in Smyrna, Tenn., Nissan has an ongoing need to develop and maintain a highly skilled workforce in Middle Tennessee. To accelerate its efforts to find and train workers, Nissan and the state of Tennessee joined forces to build a 162,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art education and training facility adjacent to the automaker’s vehicle assembly plant in Smyrna. The public-private partnership of the Tennessee Board of Regents, the State of Tennessee and Nissan was developed to create educational opportunities that are closely aligned to current workforce needs. With a ribbon-cutting ceremony in March of 2017, the facility houses a Tennessee College of Applied Technology (TCAT) campus with fields of study such as Automotive Technology, Collision Repair Technology and Welding Technology.
The project was intended to serve as a “rising tide” to answer the need for new skilled entrants into a manufacturing and associated workforce that couldn’t grow without more technical workers. The challenge was parallel to the workforce development concerns in the collision repair industry, and Caldwell will highlight the effectiveness of the solution for their needs.
After both presentations, there will be an audience Q&A to explore lessons learned in the strategic planning and implementation processes, and applicable information taken from these local initiatives that could be applied at an industry level.
The program will then shift gears, welcoming veteran collision repair and consumer advocate Erica Eversman, who will discuss a newly assumed role of consumer liaison to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The Consumer Liaison Program promotes consumer interaction with the NAIC’s members, the insurance industry and interested parties through the individuals’ dedication and commitment to serving the public interest.
The NAIC defines a consumer organization as a national, state or local organization that serves to protect the interests of consumers as they relate to the regulation of insurance. Their participation at NAIC meetings should represent a consumer perspective and should be based on their desire to collect and/or impart information of mutual concern and interest to insurance consumers and regulators. In connection with the Automotive Education & Policy Institute, Eversman has been approved as a consumer representative for the 2019 session. She will share perspectives from her first NAIC meeting in this capacity and delve into ways in which the collision repair community can better interact with regulatory bodies such as NAIC to advocate for our consumers and raise awareness of critical issues affecting the marketplace.
The meeting is open to all industry participants and is free of charge. SCRS requests that attendees pre-register. Register by clicking here. Immediately following the Repairer Roundtable, SCRS will be holding the annual Corporate Member Recognition and Industry Awards Luncheon from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. This event is also no cost to attend, but RSVP is required.