As Black History Month closes, it is important to continue the significant work to develop a diverse and balanced workforce in the auto industry. It is also critically important to acknowledge and celebrate the contributions of African American leaders to the auto industry, not just in February, but throughout the year. For example, Homer B. Roberts, the first African American car dealer, earned the attention of auto manufacturers in the early 20th century who recognized the potential of the African American automotive consumer market.
We hope that by elevating the successes and career paths of men and women of color in dealerships, more people will consider the many opportunities that auto retail has to offer. NADA is committed to diversifying the automotive retail workforce and has put this commitment into action.
To that end, NADA and the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association have partnered with the National Urban League and the Urban League of Louisiana on a pilot service technician apprenticeship program in New Orleans and Baton Rouge that will train and place aspiring technicians into apprenticeship roles within local Louisiana dealerships. This initiative will introduce a new generation of African Americans to auto retail, while at the same time help to expand the numbers of Black Americans within the industry’s workforce.
As local businesses that emphasize relationship-building, dealerships need a staff that represents their customers and communities. At NADA, we are optimistic about the growing diversity and talent of the auto workforce and dealerships nationwide.
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