AASP/NJ sponsored the event, alongside many other industry vendors and supporters. AASP/NJ Executive Director Charles Bryant stated, “We’re excited to help bring fresh blood into the industry.”
“It’s important to have young people come in because [the industry] is changing,” he continued. “There are some who have been in this industry a long time who are not familiar with new procedures and don’t want to start over and learn again, so it’s great to see new faces coming in to learn the trade and pick up where older people are leaving off.”
AASP/NJ’s Jerry McNee and Treasurer Tom Elder joined Bryant to talk to students who are interested in or considering a career in the collision repair industry. They talked to students who will be graduating soon about the association’s labor pool program, which matches potential employees with AASP/NJ member shops in need of skilled help, and they urged the upcoming graduates to join labor pool.
Association leaders also had the opportunity to talk to students individually about the benefits of an automotive industry career during multiple breakout sessions. McNee stressed the need for qualified help in shops, explaining that opportunities will exist for students whether they pursue a collision or mechanical career since all collision shops and dealerships need mechanics as well as collision technicians.
McNee told students, “Every one of you will find a home. There is no question about it. AASP/NJ is here to help you. We want to support you. There isn't a shop in the state or country that is not looking for qualified technicians."
"You need to work hard at getting as much training and as many certifications as you can," Elder added. "There is so much work out there, guys and girls. There's plenty to do and there are good opportunities."
For more information on AASP/NJ and its activities, visit aaspnj.org.