Isn’t this what we hope for?
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.