Companies and organizations across the country are renewing and strengthening their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion, and NADA and its dealership members are no exception: Together we are committed to enhancing racial and gender diversity in our dealerships.
Amplifying diversity in our dealerships is not only the right thing to do, but it is important to our businesses. As tentpole businesses in our local communities, we know what our customers want and need, and we should continue emphasizing the importance of maintaining workplaces that are reflections of the communities we serve.
At our last NADA Show in Las Vegas, NADA made a milestone announcement with the National Urban League that will further enhance diversity. Working together for the first time ever, our two organizations are developing and implementing two workforce development pilot initiatives: the Jumpstart! Technician Apprenticeship Program; and a Dealership Internship Program.
The Jumpstart! Technician Apprenticeship Program will train and help place technicians within dealerships. The latter, the Dealership Internship Program, will promote and encourage diverse college students to seek career opportunities at dealerships by exposing them to the operations of dealerships and raising awareness of the long-term career opportunities within our dealership departments.
In addition to the National Urban League, we are teaming up with the Urban League of Louisiana and the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association (LADA) to actively build out the pilot programs.
I am so excited for this forthcoming program. Members of the working group, including representatives from the aforementioned organizations, recently met and are having ongoing discussions to lay out the plan in more detail.
As it comes together, NADA will be updating the dealer body about next steps and major program milestones. In the meantime, stay tuned to NADAHeadlines.org for inspiring stories and examples of diversity and inclusion in our dealerships – from ways dealerships are ensuring all of their employees feel at home to profiles of diverse candidates and their paths to auto retail careers.