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Wednesday, 30 January 2019 18:17

Women in Auto and Collision Holds 1st Meeting of 2019

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WAC met on Jan. 15 to discuss the group’s plans for 2019 at Ranken Technical College. WAC met on Jan. 15 to discuss the group’s plans for 2019 at Ranken Technical College.

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On Jan. 15, Women in Auto and Collision (WAC) held its first meeting of 2019 at Ranken Technical College in St. Louis, MO.

 

The meeting was hosted by Department Chair John Helterbrand and featured a presentation by guest speaker Chazzerene Howard, a Ranken collision student. Dinner was sponsored by Meramec Heights Collision.

 

According to WAC President Shelly Jones, “We learned about Ranken's automotive & collision program and received a tour. We also announced WAC’s new mission statement and discussed our goal to enhance our booth presence at career fairs.”

 

WAC’s mission statement was simplified to “Industry professionals promoting automotive careers.”

 

Jones shared, “Our mission statement was changed to be more reflective of the group of people that we have as members and to open the group to all opportunities to promote all segments of the automotive industry. This is a women-led group that has a membership of women and men from a wide range of companies and roles within the industry. These industry advocates collaborate on how to engage and attract talent.

 

“WAC is moving into 2019 with flexibility and growth in mind. This year, we will continue to grow our membership and tailor it so that professionals can float in and out as time allows. We are finding that our mission speaks to many, but time is a barrier. In 2019, we want to make certain that members know that they are welcome to join, whether they participate in one meeting or all the meetings and events. To encourage continued growth, we made the announcement that our annual individual membership will be $50 in 2019.”

 

WAC also discussed the goal of enhancing the association’s presence at career fairs.

 

“We currently have tools of the trade, a mannequin dressed in a paint suit and gear, career opportunity fliers, and WAC members to engage the youth and start conversations,” Jones explained. “Our next step is to have eye-catching statements and interactive activities that will draw students and their parents to the table. We are sourcing virtual equipment as an exciting way for young people to test out the technical aspects of the industry.”


 

The group also discussed sponsorship levels for 2019. Sheena Wagner, WAC sponsor coordinator, thanked current corporate sponsors and announced new sponsors.

 

“It is exciting to have reps of many of these companies participate in our meetings. Sheena has worked hard to share our mission and build a sponsor base,” Jones stated. “WAC Secretary Kelle Oeste has also been vital to this initiative of bringing in new sponsors. Between the two of them, we have added sponsorships from Kent Automotive, Vintage Air and Eckler’s Automotive Parts Wholesale Division in the last few weeks.”

 

WAC announced that the St. Louis School-Business Partnership has invited the association to participate in an annual conference in February, the theme of which will be “Shaping the Talent of Tomorrow.”

 

Jones noted, “Typically, they host 75--100 educators and industry members, and nearly all school districts in St. Louis County are represented. Julie Hemann, WAC treasurer, and I are honored to be invited to sit on a panel in a breakout session on Promoting Nontraditional Careers.”

 

Finally, WAC announced that the group’s website has officially been launched under the guidance of WAC Vice President Jess Crump. Events, meetings, articles and Gold level sponsors will be added to the website going forward as the association strives to keep members and visitors informed.

 

WAC will host its next meeting on Feb. 19 at North Tech High School at noon with senior students in attendance. Jason Buchheit, collision instructor, will be hosting the event and will provide lunch. This will be WAC’s first lunch meeting. If it is well-attended, WAC will consider adding more lunch meetings throughout the year.

 

For more information about WAC, visit the association’s new website at WACSTL.com.

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