The South Central Workforce Council recently interviewed AJAC’s Director of Youth Apprenticeship, Bri Durham for their podcast “South Central Works.”

In the podcast, Bri touches on how AJAC’s apprenticeship program operates, the misconceptions about the trades, and the growth of Youth Apprenticeship both locally in Yakima and across Washington State.

Interested in other workforce challenges? Listen to previous podcasts on the South Central Workforce Council’s podcast web page.

Over the last year, the Aerospace Joint Apprenticeship Committee has partnered with the Northwest Automotive Service Association and Independent Technicians Automotive Committee (ITAC) to council and guide their new General Service Technician Youth Apprenticeship program.

Through this partnership, AJAC strategically advised ASA NW on how to develop their own apprenticeship committee (Independent Technician Automotive Committee) while meeting the state’s guidelines and variance’s for allowing youth to work at an independent automotive repair shop.

Additionally, AJAC was tasked to develop engaging marketing materials and messaging to excite the new generation of automotive technicians. Why did this industry feel a need to hire youth? The answer will not surprise you—there is a dire need for younger workers in the industry.

“It’s no surprise that our industry has experienced a shortage of skilled technicians,” said Butch Jobst, chair of the Independent Technician Automotive Committee. “ASA Northwest recognized the need for shops to have a system to onboard and train those that were interested in entering our industry. This program provides the much needed bridge between schools and the workplace.”

Washington State has a large number of industries that need the similar skill sets as Automotive Repair Technician causing a very competitive environment for that segment of the skilled workforce. Furthermore Washington State has many high school and college level automotive training programs that need a place to send their students. Due to the explosion of technology that has taken place in the last 20 years, the students that graduate need a program to help get them prepare for the workplace.

To learn more about the Independent Technicians Automotive Committee (ITAC) registered General Service Technician Youth Apprenticeship program, view their new brochure.