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Collective Action a Main Theme of TechForce Summit

the TechForce Foundation recently assembled a group of representatives from across the industry to address the growing shortage of technicians.

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30 Industry leaders gathered in Pheonix Jan. 30-31 for TechForce’s inaugural FutureTech Success National Leadership Cabinet. The gathering, part of TechForce’s ongoing FutureTech Success campaign, gathered a wide variety of participants to discuss how to deal with the ongoing shortage of qualified technicians in the market.

“Our campaign is laser focused on increasing the number of qualified technicians in North America, but we need the buy-in of the entire industry to be successful, Jennifer Maher, CEO/Executive Director of TechForce, said. “And that is exactly what we have received and continue to receive from some of the industry’s strongest advocates and highest profile leaders.

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“No one entity can fix the qualified technician shortage problem. We all must row in the same direction. We’re so grateful to have the support, engagement and enthusiasm of leaders throughout the industry.”

The Cabinet spent 1-1/2 days exploring ways to implement and activate the campaign within their own companies and associations, and brainstorming collaborative ideas around which the whole industry can unite.

“We must beat one, collective drum,” said Maher, “that we are one of America’s largest industries and we need a strong, trained, viable workforce. For decades, students have been told there’s only one road to success, and that’s through a four-year degree. They’ve been led to believe that working with your hands and using one’s natural tactile intelligence is a ‘less-than-desirable pathway.’ But it’s simply not true, and America needs its skilled technicians to keep it rolling. Today’s vehicle technician jobs are in high demand and provide a solid middle-class career path. It’s time we stand up and rally together for our own talent pool.”

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During the summit, TechForce unveiled its revamped website, designed, built and managed by Autoshop Solutions. The new site includes the FutureTech Resource Hub, a one-stop-shop portal through which parents and future technicians can find after-school programs, clubs, events, technical schools, scholarships and training that help develop their skills and pathway to the technician profession. Additionally, the site includes the new Industry Hub (I-Hub) through which industry recruiters, managers, working technicians and educators can find helpful resources to support and connect with future technicians.

“Anyone — from interested students to companies wanting to recruit the best technicians — can find what they need on the website,” Maher said. “Students and their parents can explore what the technician career is all about through our collection of videos, while companies can access and share the best practices to attract, develop, train, hire, recruit and retain technicians.”

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