Records set at 2019 Automotive Training Expo as need for training grows
SeaTac, Wash.-The 2019 Automotive Training Expo (ATE) was a “total sellout,” said Jeff Lovell, AMAM, of ASA Northwest (ASA-NW), the event producer.
“In total we had more than 1,000 people with some 700 registered for the 60 management and technical training classes we offered over three days. It was a record crowd for training and attendance the trade show.”
Attendees of ATE, held March 22-24, at the DoubleTree Hotel adjacent to Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, hailed from across Northwest, including western Canada, plus several other western states. Class registrations sold out by Feb. 1, with just a few single classes available prior to the event. Almost every class offered was at capacity seating, said Brenda Wolslegel, registration and trainer coordinator for the event.
“In addition to our ASA-NW staff, who did a spectacular job with registration and logistics, we have to give credit to our chairman of the board, Butch Jobst, AMAM, who is also our education committee chair,” Lovell said. “The committee once again selected management and technical courses that were pertinent to shop owners, managers, service advisers, technicians, and others. And as always, we were able to match those classes with North America’s top trainers.
“And extreme thanks to the 25 ASA-NW volunteers who donate their time over four days from set-up to tear-down and make this event happen. They are shop members, all of the ASA-NW officers, and allied members, who come together and provide everything from assistance at registration to class check-in to room set-up for trainers.”
In addition to independent repair facilities, ATE draws dozens of automotive instructors from high schools and colleges who are able to obtain their required ongoing training. This year, more than 60 of those instructors from western states attended. The annual Educator’s Roundtable meeting was held after classes concluded on Friday afternoon. The meeting was again moderated by Richie Del Puerto, automotive technology instructor at Sno-Isle TECH Skills Center in Everett, Wash.
At that event, 92 instructors, shop owners, and education professionals discussed issues relating to the partnering with industry, the importance of school programs having viable advisory councils, and issues relating to program instruction. Sarah Patterson, Skilled and Technical Sciences program supervisor for the Washington Office Superintendent of Public Instruction, addressed the group and invited all instructors and shop professionals to the Washington Association for Career & Technical Education (WACTE) conference in August for six hours of free automotive technical training, a first for WACTE at the Spokane event.
Walt Commans, of ASE, also provided updates on ASE and the ASE Education Foundation, and invited all instructors and shop owners to the first annual Automotive Industry & Education Roundtable, April 27, in Wilsonville, Ore. Jobst provided information on ITAC, ASA-NW’s newly approved apprenticeship program, and how it will interface with schools in Washington. He also advised the group that ATE East in Spokane will be held Oct. 4-5.
“ATE 2019 covered many bases for the ASA-NW mission statement,” Jobst said. “Not only was the training well received based on our feedback, the industry issues presented by our keynote speakers, at the Educators Roundtable, and in conversations I had with attendees and trainers signaled an attitude of, ‘Let’s roll up our sleeves and work on industry issues as a whole.’ This was very inspiring to myself and our entire board.
“ASA-NW is working diligently to deliver technical training to technicians, and our next hurdle will be a public awareness campaign so our communities understand how the motor vehicle is changing without them being aware of how it may impact their lives.”
In addition to three days of training, ATE provided a trade show for attendees to view the latest in products, tools, equipment, plus business solutions and services. More than 50 vendors displayed at the show where hors d’ oeuvres were served. Thousands of dollars in door prizes were awarded to attendees, ranging from diagnostic equipment to television sets, tool boxes to cash.
ATE East, a two-day training event, will be held at the DoubleTree Hotel in Spokane, Oct. 4-5. A smaller version of ATE, the event will provide about 25 management and technical classes on Friday and Saturday. Registration for ATE East will be available June 1. Similar to ATE, there will be major training sponsors.
Produced and presented by ASA-NW, the official media sponsor for ATE events is Parts & People/Northwest Edition.