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Challenging Perceptions and Championing Technicians

July 2018 | By Paul Watley

Interstate Batteries is taking a stand for the technicians of today and tomorrow by pledging to raise awareness about the benefits that come with a career as a mechanic.

The transportation industry is experiencing a significant shortage of qualified automotive technicians. According to the 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 74,000 new automotive and diesel technicians must be added to the workforce by 2026 to keep up with the industry’s growing demand. Couple this with negative misconceptions that surround this industry and it’s no wonder there is a nationwide shortage in manpower that can be felt across the industry

Interstate Batteries is taking a stand for the technicians of today and tomorrow by pledging to raise awareness about the benefits that come with a career as a mechanic. Much of society doesn’t realize the opportunities, earning potential and almost guaranteed job security enjoyed by most automotive technicians, so we challenged ourselves to help change that.

We launched our “Shift the Myth” campaign, an initiative created to combat the industry’s labor shortage by debunking negative misconceptions and enlightening younger generations about the benefits of an automotive technician career. Through valuable partnerships, Interstate can share industry success stories and educate the technicians of tomorrow, so we can inspire more people to pursue a career as a skilled mechanic and, ultimately, help decrease the current technician shortage by 2020.

To be successful, we needed to better understand today’s technician and what they look for in their career. Interstate commissioned a study of 2,000 automotive technicians to provide insights into what they value in their occupation—such as training and mentorship—what their work environments are like, and their overall view on the industry. Using these findings, we plan to educate the public and the industry through speaking opportunities at Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show and Ratchet + Wrench conferences and partnerships with TechForce Foundation and Universal Technical Institute.

TechForce Foundation helps educate high school students and their parents about this trade and the opportunities for advancement and success. In support of the FutureTech Success campaign, Interstate with the help of other supporters are working to make a positive impression on the automotive technicians of the future through the funding of social media and marketing campaigns, school renovations, research, and more. Additionally, by partnering with Universal Technical Institute, Interstate can provide the latest technology and curriculum to advance students in their repair education, as well as increase awareness of the long-term career opportunities offered in the automotive industry.

This is an issue that affects everyone in our industry and we want to take a stand to find a solution, but we can’t do it alone. Join our campaign to #ShifttheMyth and tell us how you’ll be an industry champion.

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