This column originally appeared in the February 2019 issue of Tomorrow’s Technician.
Be it the local tire dealer, auto shop or new car dealership, employers are looking for quality, qualified techs right now. But, even with the tech shortage it’s not always easy to get your foot in the shop door with just your certifications and a diploma.
Making connections with your local businesses will put you, the student, in front of mind during the hiring process. Our 2018 School of the Year Bullard-Havens Technical High School is a real-life example of how a school can connect students with employers.
Here are some ways tech schools and students can connect with employers right now.
Ask for Feedback
Schools typically have educational boards for certain programs, so involve your local business people and ask them for feedback. Figure out what shops in your area need from techs and integrate that in the classroom where you can. If you don’t have an official board for you auto program, consider just getting to know local shops.
Host a Career Fair
Get employers in front of students and offer them a direct pathway to hiring. This is a great way to meet your local businesses and get apprenticeship and job opportunities. If your school is already taking advantage of the ASE Student Career Development program (formerly known as AYES) you already have an avenue to have partners to teach you real-world skills through mentorship programs.
Just because you have the education and hands-on learning, doesn’t necessarily mean you know all the tools of the trade. See if you can shadow some A and B techs at local businesses. Mentoring programs are a great way to get you ready to work the way businesses want you to work. Plus, learning soft skills like answering the phone and even properly talking to the customer will put you a step above the rest. See if you can set up a mock service desk at school, or, if you already have a working shop at your school, make sure to give the service desk a go and master your communication skills.
Don’t forget the basics. Just because you can rely on technology for a lot of diagnostics and repairs, make sure you aren’t completely reliant on technology and can still complete basic car maintenance.
Contact Carley at [email protected]
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