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US dealers try to plug skills gap with military vets and students

An all-out effort to attract returning military veterans and students to automotive retailing/aftersales jobs is Automotive Retailing Today, a group representing auto manufacturers and franchise dealers.

A recent survey shows that a majority of auto dealers say they need to hire at least one new technician in the next six months; the average number of new technicians needed is 2.1 per dealer. The study was conducted for Universal Technical Institute, a provider of service technician training and staffing solutions. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics has set the shortage at 35,000 annually through 2010.

ART is using two recruitment strategies. With the first, Hire the Heroes, dealers are being encouraged to contact military job placement websites to list job openings.

Second, ART has established a new online resource for military personnel, students and others, www.autojobstoday.org.. Military personnel can translate their experience into credit towards the professional certification requirements of the National Institute of Automotive Service Excellence as part of the hands-on work experience required for automotive technician certification.

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