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Partnering for a Better Future

August 2018 | By Paul Watley

"As members of the automotive industry, we all need to step up to help TechForce elevate their mission to inspire future technicians."

-Tom Gray, Vice President of Marketing

Despite substantial growth, the automotive industry is suffering a shortage in talented technicians. In 2017, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that by 2026, 74,000 more automotive technicians will need to be trained in order to meet the demands of a growing automotive industry. The need for qualified talent can be felt across the industry and many automotive leaders are stepping up to make a change.

Last year, Interstate Batteries joined forces with TechForce Foundation to support the FutureTech Success campaign. The campaign brings together companies and leaders from across the automotive industry to shift the public mindset and stigma about automotive technicians by encouraging an attitude of respect and admiration for technical education and a career in the automotive repair. Through assisting in marketing initiatives and grassroot projects, providing resources for parents, schools and other influencers, helping drive curriculum for auto-tech programs, and contributing to the FutureTech Success blog, Interstate Batteries is committed to helping TechForce in their mission to overcome the automotive industry’s auto technician shortage.

Most recently, Interstate Batteries’ vice president of marketing, Tom Gray, attended the FutureTech Success National Leadership Cabinet Meeting in Louisville, KY. The bi-annual meeting of automotive industry leaders is intended to bring together different auto industry perspectives to discuss upcoming initiatives and brainstorm how to spread the campaign’s mission across the industry to ultimately reach the youngest generations.

“While as a company, Interstate Batteries is indirectly affected by the technician shortage, the crisis directly affects our customers. As members of the automotive industry, we all need to step up to help TechForce elevate their mission to inspire future technicians,” Gray said.  “Our support of TechForce and the FutureTech Success campaign is a small investment for a long-term payout, and we see the benefits in working together to ultimately solve an industry wide problem.”

In addition to Interstate Batteries, many industry leaders from Mercedes, Nissan, Firestone, Toyota and more, gathered to discuss and brainstorm ways to achieve TechForce’s mission to inspire a new generation of automotive technicians. The group also had the opportunity to see the skills needed to become a technician by attending the SkillsUSA national competition and opening ceremony.

The competition brings thousands of kids together to tout their abilities in automotive repair and speech to computer programming and architecture. “The kids were incredible, and the actual event was choreographed beautifully. These were some of the most poised, articulate high school kids I have ever seen,” Gray said. “It was truly inspiring to see so much talent in that group of young people.”

By engaging young people where they are, in the activities they love, TechForce and SkillsUSA see the best way to solve the industry wide technician shortage. With industry support, TechForce and Interstate Batteries will be able to inspire a whole new generation of automotive technicians. 

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