August 4, 2021 at 10:15 am #120739
I recently received a call from an industry colleague who was interested in assisting her teenager with finding employment in the automotive service industry, for the summer and on into the school year. They live about 4 hours drive from me, so she was calling for my advice and ideas on how to help this young man, as she was impressed he was asking to go to work, and wanted to support him in any and every way she could, in making this a reality.
I was immediately sold on helping this young man as well. I would love to have more teenagers go to their moms and ask to go to work in our industry. Besides that, I know his mom as one of the 5 most intelligent and articulate women I have ever met, and both mom and dad are professionals, with mom holding senior roles with major automotive parts manufacturers.
I started by treating this as if I was interested in hiring this individual. Called my insurance agent first, and he indicated that from an insurance aspect, he would be covered, same as any other employee. Checked State of Michigan for guidance on employing minors, seemed fairly straight forward and possible to have him work a fairly full schedule prior to school starting and 18 hours or so a week, after school starts.
We scheduled a Zoom “interview”, to help him better understand what to expect and give me a chance to better evaluate him, if I was going to ask other owners to consider him. What a pleasure it was for me to interview a young man brought up in a professional household. He spoke clearly and the words and concepts he used and understood were well beyond his age. He seemed motivated and inquisitive.
Isn’t this what we hope for? Imagine if every community had even 20-30 teenagers like this.
After reaching out to several shop owners in the area he lives, I am left wondering if we can even find a shop in his area, with a business model that supports school age part time employee’s interested in auto repair, and is able to bring in entry level employees with the right drive and attitude, and have it be a win/win for both the shop and employee.
Now here’s the kicker. He’s 15 years old…. and wants to go to work in an auto repair shop! He’s 15 going on 20 in my opinion.
We do have a business model in our store, that supports part time or school age individuals, and generally we train 1-3 per year. I have seldom interviewed a < 20 year old, that interviewed as well as this young man did.
Now the question is, as an Industry, what do we do with him? What is our message to the parents? Do we ask him to wait? Will he?
He lives in Troy, Michigan, if anyone is interested, or has a model that can make this work.August 6, 2021 at 9:31 am #120764Tom HamParticipant
I would tell him to hop on his bike, stop at every automotive business in his area, and tell them he is looking for a summer and after-school job.
Since that happens at most shops roughly….let me think….oh…NEVER…I’d say his odds are very good. 🙂
Tom - Shop Owner since 1978August 9, 2021 at 2:46 pm #120799August 9, 2021 at 7:21 pm #120802JoeHenryParticipant
Sorry to be Debbie Downer here : (
At ACTautostaffing.com we receive dozens of these all the time. I always inspire these young people to: start, or continue to watch Motor Trend channel, subscribe to and read “Tire Review”, “Body Shop News”, “Tomorrows Tech”, “Dragzine”, etc.
Why? Because all of our Garage Liability Insurance companies won’t let us touch them.
The best action we can all take to try to keep them interested. Then keep in touch until they are ripe enough to be cover in our shop insurance.
But we must inspire them to “dream the dream” by the illusion of the above media I mentioned. And if other industries don’t sweep them up (be ready for the Infrastructure jobs to suck them in like quick sand) we may get 1 out of 100 that were interested : ((((August 9, 2021 at 7:30 pm #120804Frank Scandura IIIParticipant
I have had the opportunity to talk to young people looking for a break, now we have our first phase of a written program to help them in the learning curve – and I think I will get involved in the local high school and colleges again – we need young men and women that WANT to work in automotive.
Frank M Scandura IIIAugust 9, 2021 at 9:09 pm #120808August 10, 2021 at 11:23 am #120813August 15, 2021 at 11:38 am #120865
Perhaps my Insurance agent of several years was incorrect, when my very first action relating to this opportunity, was to call him and inquire about any insurance concerns. He seems quite sharp and has been in HIS industry for 30 years or so, representing multiple automotive service facilities with multiple carriers, and he indicated that this 15 year old would be treated, and both he and his actions, would be covered “like any other employee”. The fact that most business models don’t support school age individuals, and we as owners like to play the insurance card a little frequently, when it is our own fear that gets in the way, does not make this all encompassing statement true: “Because all of our Garage Liability Insurance companies won’t let us touch them”. Hard for me to imagine that I could possibly make a blanket statement about any subject that would hold water. Especially when i am trying to portray an expert in a field other then my own.
The fact that were concerned about liability, does not make it impossible.August 25, 2021 at 7:15 pm #121024Steven CohenParticipant
I always like to help young people when possible. However, there is no way I would have a 15-year-old working at our shop. This would be not only foolish but unlawful in South Carolina. The kid might be a “mature” 15-year-old, but he is not even of driving age. Would you have a 15-year-old do anything other than wash a car? But what about that 1966 red Corvette, want him washing that? Would you have him perform a service on one of you valued customers’ car? Back in the 1960’s I worked pumping gas at a full-service Esso Station. I also washed cars for my uncle’s Chevrolet dealership. I did some stupid teenage type things. So would most teenagers. Even our cleanup guys are mature men. No boys please.August 25, 2021 at 11:15 pm #121028Maylan NewtonParticipant
we as an industry need a nationwide apprentice program. as an industry, we cannot continue to lose these people to the other trades. we are so behind the other trades in recruiting young people into the industry
Educational Seminars Institute
ASCCA member for 35 years
2017 ASCCA Member of the year
35 years of service to the automotive industry
If it’s to be… It’s up to ME
866-526-3039August 26, 2021 at 6:07 am #121032
This was my final message to this young man. I would have liked it to have it been a little more positive. It is the reality of the day, and maybe the currently reality of the industry. I suspect the reality of the future will be different.
I have mostly struck out. It is as much of a question of finding service facilities with business models that support school age individuals, as it is anything to do with your age. The only lead I have for you is from a shop owner in Southfield that has a combination repair shop, quick oil change and car wash. He indicated that he may have a position on the weekends for you (during the school year), but only at the car wash to start. There may be some benefit to “paying your dues” by starting in the car wash and then getting to know the folks at the oil change and repair shop, while working towards your next “promotion”. ”
Thank You everyone for the ideas and replies
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