For Shop Owners

We are all in business to provide goods and services to the motoring public and to provide a living for our families. Unfortunately, in today's economy it is not enough to hang out a sign and serve our customers well in order to prosper. We must also stay aware of changes in the industry that affect our bottom line. We need to be sure we understand all of the requirements and regulations imposed by various government agencies. We have to stay on top of changes in technology and keep our employees trained. Finally, we need to control our costs where ever possible.

ASA-AZ was founded on the principle that by joining together we can advance the common interests of all our members. We take our mission very seriously: "Advancing professionalism and excellence in the automotive repair industry through education, representation, and member services." By attending the meetings, reading the newsletters, participating in the member benefits and responding to the calls for action, you will see the return on your investment in more than just financial rewards.

Local chapters include: Prescott, Mohave County, Phoenix, Tucson, Verde Valley, Yuma. These chapters meet locally and exchange ideas and resources.

Chairman's Message

Julee Baxley - Integrity Automotive & Integrity Diesel Tucson, Arizona

Julee Baxley
Integrity Automotive & Integrity Diesel Tucson, Arizona
[email protected]

Shortage of Qualified  Automotive & Collision Technicians

As owners we in the industry are most concerned about losing our master technicians that don't just read troubleshooting data off a computer screen, but rather put their experience to use to interpret clues and pinpoint a problem. Our techs are asked to deal with issues that would have required an engineering degree in the past. That problem is being compounded by the multiple new powertrain technologies hitting the market, including hybrids, electrics and advanced clean-diesel engines.

Your business needs to attract and keep quality employees. If the wages you pay your automotive or collision techs aren't competitive, then you're asking for staff attrition. You need to make whatever adjustments within your company to be attractive with benefit package, paid holidays, health insurance, pension, safety equipment/tool allowance, training and wage incentive plans.

Such are the challenges for repair shops looking to recruit the repair technicians of tomorrow. A generation who grew up playing Xbox games instead of rebuilding carburetors doesn't seem to have the fascination with auto repair as earlier generations who grew up as shade-tree mechanics working with their fathers, grandfathers, uncles under the hood of a vehicles. Age makes a difference on what is important when attracting younger technicians, their only focus usually is a hourly wage for the most part, the younger techs only think of right now, what is in it for me and how hard do I really need to work to make the money I need, I am worth more than you pay me, I want more time off etc.

In reality, automotive & collision service offers a more lucrative career path than ever before. The integration of computer technology into automobiles, trucks and diesel has created a demand for highly refined skills and bright people who can cope with that new technology, quickly diagnosing and repairing problems. More businesses are becoming the “one stop” business to attract more customers.

Auto-repair & collision educators say they are fighting misconceptions about the profession. They point out that fixing cars has gone high-tech. A laptop computer is becoming as important a repair tool as a set of socket wrenches. Our industry continues to suffer from the outdated stereotype of the dirty, under-paid mechanic, causing young people to look elsewhere for careers. It doesn't help, as well, that more high school districts have cut their budgets for auto repair programs or cut the program, a key source of recruits. Supporting the programs has become more expensive because of the test equipment now involved.

Good News! It is not impossible to overcome many of these issues. As ASA AZ members we are working with many high school and Community College automotive programs with donations, mentoring, hiring students and sitting on boards and more. Get involved in your area! If you are not sure where to go get in touch with your Chapter President for more information, The Phoenix Chapter has begun discussions with the Glendale Community College to mentor and employ students that are going through the automotive program.  In Tucson, the Chapter continues to sponsor the top automotive students and recognize their efforts and then hiring these students to get hands-on experience while attending a post secondary automotive program.

We must as an industry be involved and get the younger students excited and show them it is not a “greasy money” job! Invite students to be mentored or trained in your business. It is about relationships, good benefits, pay and treating them right from the start, to retain and grow our industry. Otherwise we will lose the best of the best to dealers that are activity recruiting all the time and offering competitive pay and benefits.

Please visit our website for location and time of local Roundtable and Dinner meetings.   Home page

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