The RPM Foundation (RPM), a Chicago-based not-for-profit dedicated to preserving and growing the automotive restoration industry, has announced that it will hold “SHOP HOP Chicago,” a two-day job-fair-on-wheels March 18 and 19. Participating students, parents and teachers will learn about potential summer internship opportunities and get first-hand accounts from master craftsmen at four of Chicago’s leading auto restoration shops.
The SHOP HOP caravan will visit Hot Rod Chassis & Cycle, Custom Cars Unlimited, Schwartz Performance and Sport & Specialty Restoration & Vintage Racing. Students will tour the facilities at each location and learn about the specific services that each shop offers.
“We launched the SHOP HOP program late last year and the unbelievable support from local shops and students had exceeded our expectations,” said RPM President Diane Fitzgerald. “With many master craftsmen entering retirement, it’s imperative that we fill the void with young talent so collector industry can continue to flourish.”
The 2016 Specialty Equipment Manufacturer’s Association (SEMA) Market Report indicated that retail sales in the automotive restoration niche reached an all-time high of $1.53 billion in 2015.
Since being founded in 2005, RPM has provided nearly $3 million in grants, apprenticeships and internships in automotive and marine restoration programs. It is a member entity of America’s Automotive Trust (AAT), a not-for-profit corporation with the mission of securing America’s automotive heritage and transferring the skills and knowledge necessary to sustain the collector car industry for future generations.
“SHOP HOP Chicago is just one way that the RPM Foundation is supporting the future of America’s collector car industry,” said AAT President and CEO David Madeira. “It’s very rewarding to be able to pass the torch to future generations while providing opportunities — and jobs — which is a worthy cause that we are all dedicated to.”
For more information on the RPM Foundation, visit rpm.foundation or call 855-537-4579.
For more information on AAT, visit americasautomotivetrust.org.