With the new partnership with UTI, Interstate will provide the latest technology and curriculum support to help students excel in their education, as well as increase awareness of the opportunities available in the automotive industry.
According to a 2017 report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 74,100 new automotive and diesel technicians must be added to the workforce every year until 2026 to meet the demand.
Even though today’s automotive technicians must be well-versed in both traditional technician skills and complex electronic diagnostics, a recent study conducted by Interstate found that one-third were unsure whether this is a long-term career. The collective goal of these partnerships is to share industry success stories and educate the technicians of tomorrow, in order to inspire them to pursue a career as skilled mechanics—ultimately decreasing the current technician shortage by 2020.
“This industry is facing many challenges, including older technicians approaching retirement, increased vehicle age and population, complexity of vehicles, and a misunderstanding of the skills and growth opportunity for this career,” said Tom Gray, vice president of marketing, Interstate Batteries. “Many think that being a mechanic is not a lifelong career choice, when in fact, it offers innovation and immense opportunity for professional growth. By collaborating with UTI and TechForce, we’ll be able to effectively shift this thinking.”
Interstate will provide batteries and battery testers for all of UTI’s automotive and diesel technician training campuses, giving students hands-on experience with the products they will use on the job. To promote the partnership, Interstate will have their own branded lab space on each of UTI’s campuses. Also, leaders from Interstate Batteries will have the opportunity to serve on UTI’s Program Advisory Councils to help inform curriculum and provide industry insights and expertise.
“It’s important that we nurture our existing students as well as those who show interest in becoming an automotive technician,” said John Dodson, vice president of business alliances, UTI. “While TechForce Foundation focuses on those in the early stages of exploring future career paths, UTI develops and trains students to prepare them for the workforce. And now with Interstate serving as a preferred vendor and industry partner, our students will have even more access to innovative tools and resources, which give them more confidence and support toward successful careers.”
Interstate is also entering its second year as a main sponsor of TechForce Foundation’s FutureTech Success campaign, which informs parents and influencers of the career potential in the transportation industry. As a partner with TechForce, Interstate’s Gray also serves on its National Board of Directors and its FutureTech National Leadership Cabinet that helps bring visibility to the industry and the career opportunities it provides.
“Most don’t realize that auto technicians have high earning potential and job security,” said Jennifer Maher, executive director, TechForce Foundation. “Bringing on Interstate Batteries to help shed light on the benefits of pursuing this profession gives this cause so much more clout. We are excited to add this powerhouse to our list of partners and look forward to changing the industry for the better.”
For more information about Interstate Batteries and how its working to “shift the myth” of the technician, visit interstatebatteries.com.