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Thursday, Jun 8, 2023


Labor Shortage? I recently read yet another article on the painful shortage of trained automotive technicians. Demand is growing for techs; dealerships and garages are straining to find new ways to attract good people. But, Houston, we have a problem. I know a lady (yes, lady) who has spent the last two years in school, learning to take cars apart, diagnose them, fix them, and put them back together again. She’s been taking night classes and weekend classes in addition to full-time day classes. She was named “shop foreman” her last two semesters in school – the person responsible for making sure work gets done correctly. She has never been late to class hasn’t missed any classtime. She is always cheerful and helpful. She has been awarded a certificate in excellence for her academic achievement. Sounds wonderful. Right? Any shop in its right mind should be falling all over itself to hire this person? She actually did get a job – offered to her by a tire store. After two weeks of changing tires, going home with bloody, bruised arms and legs, she had to be convinced that this was not for her as she would probably not be getting much in the way of diagnostic and repair work at this shop. So, what’s the problem? She is young, smart, and extremely motivated. Legal issues? Are the shops afraid she will sue for sexual harassment a month into the job? She’s made it through a couple of years of school without suing anyone. She can probably go a few more. Just plain chauvinism? In 2004? Anyone out there with any solid answers? Any shop owners out there who can pacify the fears of their service managers? She’s back in school at West Valley Occupational Center – fixing cars for free – while the painful labor shortage grows. William Adelman Woodland Hills

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