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If I understand you right, you are asking IF high school auto shop classes are still important because of the advances and innovations in the automotive industries.  IF the classes are teaching students the skills and knowledge that the auto repair industry needs. 

Estoy usando un servicio de traducción, no hablo o Leo español muy bien.  Si te entiendo correctamente, estás preguntando si las clases de taller de auto de la escuela secundaria siguen siendo importantes debido a los avances e innovaciones en las industrias automotrices.  Si las clases están enseñando a los estudiantes las habilidades y conocimientos que la industria de reparación de automóviles necesita. 

 

I believe the value and quality of high school education classes for automotive techs is and will be directly connected to how involved we as an industry are with the curriculum and how well the classes are funded.  In years past, at least into the 1980's auto shop classes were where the "dumb" kids were dumped.  I mean how hard is it to pull bolts and change an alternator, right?  Well today, it can be a major project and the electrical testing to verify it's the alternator and not the PCM is not simple, it only seems that way to experienced techs.  But a professional grade scanner is required for proper diagnosis.  And those scanners are not cheap.  The auto shop class MUST have the resources (money) to invest in modern equipment and updates in order to properly train the students and render value and relevance to our industry.  That requires tax money and we know how people "think" we are taxed enough already. (that is another discussion for another time) If we continue with OUR ignorance of thinking our taxes are too high and expecting the government to do all of these things for us with less and less revenue (relative to the actual increasing costs of everything) we will never see the value that the government COULD provide much less have auto shop classes that are properly equipped to teach and train our future employees.  How valuable is a student leaving an auto shop class that only had a red brick scanner?  Incapable of teaching bidirectional controls on a late model car?  Any capable, competent full function scanner-only tool will cost around $3000 (or more) plus periodic updates, that is $3000 TAXPAYER dollars.  If we as an industry get involved, have a voice, are paid attention to and PAY for the value we expect then high school auto shop classes can have great value.  The students almost certainly will NOT come out fully capable to start work unsupervised, but at least we won't have to teach them to push a wrench with an open hand instead of wrapped around the tool to smash their fingers when it breaks loose or to start all bolts before tightening the first one.  When we ask them to install a vacuum gauge or a cooling system pressure tester they will know how to do it.  When we teach them, as we would even with a technical school (college) graduate the high school auto shop graduate will at least have an understanding and know what they are looking at when they learn something new.  For instance, when we teach them voltage drop they will know and understand how the meter works and what we are testing, maybe not WHY we are testing this way.

 

If we think that high school auto shop classes have no value or are "for the dumb kids" then we are selling ourselves short too.  Just as we sell our customers, VALUE is not a cheap price, it is the benefit you get from the money you spend.  To get true value out of our schools, not just auto shop class, we MUST spend money, we MUST invest resources including our time.  If we put into it what we want to get out of it, we will see value in high school auto shop classes.  But if we ignore the teacher, the curriculum, the students and the school, we will see and realize only failure.  Now don't get me wrong, I don't mean give the school a blank check or quit your job and become a teacher or spend every day bugging the teacher, but be available to offer guidance, to give unsolicited suggestions and yes, to pay taxes to support the school that you and I and all Auto Shop Owners members benefit from the students that are educated there. What I mean is like in your business, you invest in tools and equipment that you think will grow your business, increase your revenue (and hopefully profits) and the same goes for the school, INVEST in the students so they can be of value to your business, even if it's only as an educated, income earning customer.  If you don't see a value or benefit from the high school auto shop classes, if you haven't been involved, then you are part of the problem and could be part of the solution.  If you don't see a value or benefit from the high school auto shop classes and you have been involved, then maybe it's time to ask for advice from fellow colleagues on how to try and change the curriculum, approach the board or change the board so they are responsive to the needs of the industry their classes are supposed to be benefiting.  And of course coach the board how to spend the money they have for auto shop class tools and equipment more efficiently to gain the most value from it, just like you do in your own business.  The underlying theme, if you haven't guessed, is industry involvement, as a resource for not only knowledge, guidance, finances and emerging trends/needs. 

 

I know I touched the third rail here so if anyone disagrees with me, please make your replies IN CONTEXT and well explained so we can understand your viewpoint and its foundation and maybe engage in more than a "witty one liner" discussion.  Thank you.

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  • Have you checked out Joe's Latest Blog?

         0 comments
      It always amazes me when I hear about a technician who quits one repair shop to go work at another shop for less money. I know you have heard of this too, and you’ve probably asked yourself, “Can this be true? And Why?” The answer rests within the culture of the company. More specifically, the boss, manager, or a toxic work environment literally pushed the technician out the door.
      While money and benefits tend to attract people to a company, it won’t keep them there. When a technician begins to look over the fence for greener grass, that is usually a sign that something is wrong within the workplace. It also means that his or her heart is probably already gone. If the issue is not resolved, no amount of money will keep that technician for the long term. The heart is always the first to leave. The last thing that leaves is the technician’s toolbox.
      Shop owners: Focus more on employee retention than acquisition. This is not to say that you should not be constantly recruiting. You should. What it does means is that once you hire someone, your job isn’t over, that’s when it begins. Get to know your technicians. Build strong relationships. Have frequent one-on-ones. Engage in meaningful conversation. Find what truly motivates your technicians. You may be surprised that while money is a motivator, it’s usually not the prime motivator.
      One last thing; the cost of technician turnover can be financially devastating. It also affects shop morale. Do all you can to create a workplace where technicians feel they are respected, recognized, and know that their work contributes to the overall success of the company. This will lead to improved morale and team spirit. Remember, when you see a technician’s toolbox rolling out of the bay on its way to another shop, the heart was most likely gone long before that.
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