Episode Description

In this week’s episode of Beyond the Wrench, we are joined by Christen Battaglia, Director of Strategic Partnerships, WrenchWay to discuss creative ways to engage students. We are talking about how to stand out to students in the industry, how to connect with students, and educating parents on the industry.

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How to Stand Out to Students in the Industry

  • We are engaging way too late in the game. We should be engaging by at least the middle school level.
  • You have to take time to leave your shop and put the effort in if you want to see change.
  • Go to your local school’s principal. Tell them you’d like to bring cool cars to the school to engage students in automotive. Allow kids to look at the cars, and take pictures.
  • Be sure to engage all students, and not just the students who are already interested or involved in automotive.

Creative Ways to Attract Students

  • Go to a school, and give demonstrations on how to change a tire or check your oil.
  • Bringing pizza or food to a classroom is always effective in encouraging students.
  • Come up with a competition between students. Everyone loves a good competition.
  • During a team meeting in the shop, brainstorm creative ideas to get students involved.
  • Have a remote control car race in the parking lot of a school.
  • Engage students the way they want to be engaged. They love to be on their phones and social media. Meet them in the middle, and figure out a way to interact with them through their phones.

“As an industry, we need to stop talking about students in a negative way and start engaging them in the way that they want to be engaged.”
Christen Battaglia, WrenchWay

How to Connect to Students

  • Try to relate to them and understand what they are interested in.
  • Put the students first. It’s not about us; it’s about them.
  • If a student isn’t interested in automotive, don’t take it personally.
  • Change the perception of the industry. Show students it is a respectable and professional career choice.

Educating Parents on the Industry

  • Get parents involved in recruiting. Then, they can actually see what the industry is like.
  • A better looking program will attract a better quality student.
  • We don’t make the automotive industry attractive enough, and that’s why everyone wants to go to a four-year college.
  • The instructors have a huge impact on the future of the industry. They need to be promoting the industry to parents and students — showing them there are smart and successful people in the industry.

Creative Methods for Shops to Engage with Student Technicians

Show Notes

Resources:

Learn more about WrenchWay School Connect: https://wrenchway.com/school-connect/

Download the free WrenchWay app in the App Store or on Google Play:

About Our Host:

Jay Goninen
President, WrenchWay
jayg@wrenchway.com | 608.512.7330

About Our Guest:

Christen Battaglia
Director of Strategic Partnerships, WrenchWay
christen@wrenchway.com

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