WASHINGTON (Aug. 3, 2018) – Annette Sykora, chairman of the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA) Foundation, met with White House officials on Thursday to discuss its new Workforce Initiative and potential engagement with the recently announced President’s National Council for the American Worker.
During a meeting at the White House with officials overseeing President Trump’s new workforce initiative, Sykora; Peter Welch, NADA president and CEO; and Jonathan Collegio, NADA senior vice president of public affairs, presented plans for the NADA Foundation’s Workforce Initiative to promote the value of careers at new-car dealerships – especially service technicians – in the retail-automobile industry.
“Our industry faces an acute shortage of service technicians, and we look forward to working with the White House in any way we can to address this issue,” said Sykora, former NADA chairman and dealer principal of Smith South Plains Ford and Lincoln in Levelland, Texas. “We need to come together to address this shortage and tell the story of the benefits of employment at new-car dealerships.”
In July 2018, President Trump announced an executive order establishing the President’s National Council for the American Worker and the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board. The council is developing a national strategy to address urgent workforce issues, including a national campaign to raise awareness of the urgency of the skills crisis.
Local dealerships employ nearly 400,000 technicians nationwide, at median salary of more than $59,000, in jobs that provide health care and retirement benefits without a four-year college degree. However, local dealerships face an industry-wide shortage of nearly 70,000 workers.
“Service technicians are among the last jobs in America where young adults without a four-year college education can make a living wage and have opportunities to advance into management careers,” Sykora added. “These jobs are critical to providing safe transportation to all Americans and are available in communities across the country.”
In March 2018, the NADA Foundation’s Board of Trustees announced funding for a large-scale workforce initiative to address the shortage and educate America about the benefits of dealership jobs – especially service technicians. The initiative will include a unified marketing effort by dealerships and manufacturers, and aggressive outreach with policymakers and educators.
The NADA Foundation will formally launch the new initiative at NADA Show 2019 in San Francisco in January.