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New ASE Adopt-A-School Program Offers Two-Way Street to Technician Recruitment



2021 NADA Board Member Michael Alford

Michael Alford

NADA Board Member - North Carolina
Industry Relations GM Co. Liaison

As dealers, we all know that filling our technician pipeline is a challenge, which will be an area that dealers navigate as the auto industry moves to electrification and dealers determine the impact to their operations. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) is a major player in this space working to improve the quality of vehicle repair and service by testing and certifying automotive professionals. Just this year, ASE marked 50 years boosting automotive excellence and launched their Adopt-A-School program with help from industry stakeholders like NADA.

The ASE Education Foundation’s new Adopt-A-School program is a great opportunity for dealers to give back and receive business benefits as well.

Smart dealers have recognized for years that “growing your own” is a key strategy to address recruiting and retention challenges. Connecting with local high school and college automotive, truck, and collision repair training programs is the best way to do that.

Right now, there are students taking automotive training classes at schools close by in preparation for entering the workforce. The good news is that schools are providing students with the fundamental training they need to get started, and through the Adopt-A-School program, these students will also benefit from hands-on, real-world experience. 

Adopt-A-School offers dealers multiple ways to show support for their local high school and college training programs, and it also benefits their businesses by connecting them with the next generation of service professionals. Dealerships that have already adopted schools are seeing the advantages of these efforts. The Adopt-A-School program not only allows these organizations to be good citizens, but it also provides them with an avenue to access and mentor future employees. It is a terrific opportunity all the way around.

However, the business-school partnership needs to be a two-way street. Schools want to provide well-trained entry-level technicians, but they need the help and input of dealers to be successful and meet their employment needs. Schools need partners from the industry to provide advice and guidance, demonstrate career opportunities for their students, and help those students get the hands-on experience that will grow their skills and encourage them to stick with an automotive career.

When a dealership supports a local school’s training program, they are not only building the future pipeline of talent for their service facilities, but they can also grow community awareness for their business, find candidates for a variety of jobs in their company, and build teamwork and morale.

NADA was a major contributor to the program and wants all dealers to get involved!

To make it easy for dealers to get started supporting their local schools, created an Adopt-A-School toolkit to walk you through the program. Dealers can start with small, simple activities and grow their involvement as you’d like. Learn more and take the first step to recruiting the next generation of technicians by downloading the brochure here or by visiting the Adopt-A-School page here.