Publisher's Statement - December 2017
Vehicle technician shortage more acute than previously perceived
It’s not news that there is a current and impending shortage of qualified vehicle technicians. However, it is news that the demand may be three times greater than the consensus industry view.
TechForce Foundation, has released a new report, “Transportation Technician New Entrant Demand,” that reveals the demand for technicians is much higher than previously reported. In fact, estimated demand for “new entrant” technician, between 2016-2026, is found to be triple prior Bureau of Labor statistics (BLS) data estimating technician demand 2014-2024.
TechForce has been able to provide annual projections that are much more useful for industry planning than a 10-year average but can focus on individual years. For example, the highest demand for automotive technicians in the next five years is 92,071 in 2018 while the lowest is 65,020 in 2021.
The results of study now correspond to actual industry experience and suggest why the shortage occurred and why it has persisted.
When asked as to what can be done, Doug Young, co-author of the report, said, “We have adequate training facilities for prospective technicians. Our concentration has to be on getting young people interested in this vocation by changing the image of the “grease monkey” mechanic that students and their parents, teachers and counselors may have.”
Jennifer Maher, CEO and executive director of TechForce, summed up the situation and solution by saying, “In order to solve the tech shortage, the industry needs to pool its resources and create and disseminate consistent public messaging highlighting the many and varied opportunities of a tech career. Right now, the industry is suffering from inadequate, fragmented financing for the cause. It’s not enough for us to talk among ourselves, we have to pull together as industry to first, resolve it, and then to stay ahead of it.”
We agree. After watching and supporting the development of training through the years, the industry now needs to pull together to put initiatives into practice while overcoming inadequate, fragmented financing.
Seyfer is new NASTF executive director
Donny Seyfer was recently named executive director of the National Automotive Service Task Force (NASTF) to replace retiring director Skip Potter. Seyfer brings 30 years of experience to the position as a technician, shop owner, trainer, and 15 years of association and trade experience. His knowledge and networking success has resulted in an unique and broad-based resume that makes him uniquely qualified to assume leadership of NASTF during this time of technological and industry challenges. Hopefully he can bring together his allies and connections to mobilize support for the primary NASTF issues.
“This is the perfect platform to expand and continue my mission to help those of us who turn the wrench or wield the scan tool,” Seyfer said. “Most important to the NASTF mission is the opportunity to continue all of the different channels of our amazing industry and make the world a little smaller. Now, more than ever, success for all depends on being able to work together.”
NASTF Chairman Steve Douglas, Automotive Alliance, said, “With decades of experience working with other shop owners, technicians, OEMs, tool companies, trainers, and service information providers, Donny Seyfer is uniquely qualified to bring the industry together and catapult NASTF to the next level.”
Parts & People salutes the selection of Donny Seyfer as NASTF director and pledges continued support of its work and initiatives. Time is of the essence, but the industry is fortunate to have the right person at the right time in this important leadership position.