Industry speaks at March open house
Dunwoody Automotive invited representatives from Luther Automotive Group, Walser Automotive Group, and Alliance of Automotive Service Providers-Minnesota (AASP) to speak at the College’s open house event this month, which was held Tuesday, March 15.
Steve Reinarts, Automotive Dean, said the goal of the event was to help organizations find potential hires as well as provide students and their guests with a better understanding of what the automotive job market looks like right now.
And what does it look like?
According to Judell Anderson, Executive Director of AASP: “Desperate.”
All three organizations confirmed that automotive job opportunities are skyrocketing—and shops and dealerships across the nation are in need of technicians.
“When I left my office, we had 43 openings,” said Meg Miller, HR Recruiter for Luther Automotive Group. “The opportunities are endless.”
In fact, auto mechanics are in such demand, many automotive organizations are hiring recent graduates—and even current students—to work. And for organizations like Walser Automotive, Dunwoody College is one of the first places they look.
Why a Dunwoody student?
“For years, we have all gone out and simply tried to steal one another’s technicians,” said Walser Automotive Corporate Service Director Jeff Lamott. “But as a business model, it doesn’t make sense to put an ad in the paper and hope you can get someone from another store.
“Maybe that’s a short term solution for now, but probably a better solution would be to hire people at an entry level—student graduates for an example—bring them in, provide them with mentorship, and then grow them into a technician from the ground up,” he said.
“And to do that, we immediately look for organizations that provide students like that, or we look around and ask where we have gotten people from before…and Dunwoody would be the answer to both of those.”
Luther Automotive also has a long history of hiring Dunwoody graduates.
“Several of our managers and technicians have come from Dunwoody,” Miller said. “We always look for a well-rounded individual–someone who has the skill but also has the drive to learn more.
“We definitely find that in a Dunwoody student.”
Industry reps to return May 24
A first-time event for the department, Reinarts couldn’t be more pleased with the end result.
“I think the most beneficial part of the event—for both prospective students and their parents/guardians and guests—was being able to talk directly with industry,” he said.
“When parents come to an open house, they’ll often ask ‘will my son or daughter be able to get a job, and if so how much will they be able to make?’ Those answers, coming from me or one of our other instructors, could be perceived as self-serving.
“But by having industry there, we direct those questions to them and they’ll tell the parents and the students exactly how much they will be able to make and what the job market and career outlook looks like right now.
“That is why we wanted them there. So prospective students can get the story first-hand and hopefully consider choosing automotive as a future career,” he said.
Due to the success of this month’s event, Dunwoody Automotive plans to host industry partners again at the College’s May open house, which takes place on Tuesday, May 24, from 3 to 7 p.m.
If you are interested in speaking about your organization at the upcoming event, or becoming more involved with Dunwoody Automotive, please contact Reinarts at firstname.lastname@example.org.