3 years ago this young high school kid walked in our front door unannounced, wanting a part time job. My initial impression wasn’t great, but it was a busy time of the year so I interviewed him and decided to give him a chance. That same year (2019) he graduated high school and started full time. Our shop always has at least one, at times two dedicated lube techs to do minor maintenance and tires, etc. That keeps our other techs free to do more profitable work. Time went by, still not overly impressed with his performance, he was being paid hourly and showing not much incentive. A classic hourly employee.
Fast forward to 2021. Our shop has been mostly immune to the tech shortage simply because we don’t have a lot of turnover. That changed this year when we had one tech retire in March, and another tech quit for health reasons in mid June. Those 2 techs combined averaged 115 hours of production weekly. This put us in a team rebuilding stage.
After 2.5 years of being a lube tech, some training and a few B tech jobs here and there, this employee was more than ready to step up and go on commission. As soon as the second tech left, he seized the new opportunity and shifted into high gear. His transformation has been amazing from the high school kid 3 years ago, to now a solid B tech producing 45 billable hours a week. I’m so glad today that 3 years ago he walked in our front door looking for a career.
Whether your shop hires an Apprentice from the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program, or hires and trains internally within your shop, growing your own technicians is truly the future answer for the tech shortage. Long gone are the days of asking the tool vendor for your next technician. It takes time and patience to get a new inexperienced employee to a “B” level tech. So sign up for the NC Apprenticeship program if you haven’t already, it costs IGONC members nothing to get on the list. Start growing your next technician now before you need one! Visit https://ncautoapprentice.com/ for more info or call IGONC at (919)-322-0609.