To answer this question, we asked a couple of our younger technicians in the shop, Daniel and Josh. They think getting involved earlier could be beneficial - making sure kids know that obtaining a college degree isn’t for everyone and that there are other options out there! We need to change the perception of society (and some educators) on a technician’s career. We should normalize going into the trades and be honest … you do NOT need a college degree to make a good living. Kids should know the advantages to a trade career, especially as technicians! So, with that said, we think it is important we show kids what it is like being a technician in the automotive industry. They should know the jobs are in high demand right now, that the pay is excellent (and increases as knowledge and skills expand), that there is paid on-the-job training and mentors are on site to learn from, that your skills you learn are lifelong, that it’s a very rewarding career, and that the career involves a lot of problem solving. A lot of people don't realize the successes being a technician can bring nor the opportunity for growth and career advancement. We would also love to see manufacturers getting more involved at the Middle school and Highschool level as well as freshly out of Highschool and Trades School (or any secondary school). Some manufacturers provide discounts on tools for aspiring technicians that are learning the trade, but we wish they would do more for technicians once they are in the industry and trying to get established as a new technician.
OEM brands need to kick start their brand engagement to young employees, to all employees in fact. Shower them in brand specific swag and training, make them proud of the product, the culture, the lifestyle of who they work for and what they work on.