Members of the ASE Training Managers Council (ATMC) gathered in Atlanta for the group’s 44th annual conference, held April 11-13, to share their collective knowledge, look into the future of how people will learn and enjoy a unique networking opportunity for the transportation training industry. With almost 80 percent of the membership attending, about a third of the participants were from the OE sector, a third from the aftermarket and a third from training vendors, software developers, publishers, industry organizations and others who serve the training industry.
ATMC President Dave Milne began the event with a summary of the information learned from the 2018 ATMC Training Benchmarks Survey. With more than 4,700 responses from working service personnel, the survey continues to yield accurate insights into the demographics of the workforce and their preferences for, and participation in, training.
Among the vast amount of information featured, some statistics included:
- The average age of the service professional workforce is 50 years old.
- OE dealership technicians average 28 hours of structured training per year. Techs working in independent shops average 15 hours of structured training per year, and techs employed by fleets average 18 hours of training per year.
- Slightly more than 5 percent of auto techs earn more than $100,000 annually.
- Career and technical education (vo-tech) instructors, on average, earn more than auto technicians.
- There is a correlation between more training for techs and higher income.
A summary of the survey information is available for the industry to view at the ATMC website atmc.org.
Dr. Mark Quarto with FutureTech spoke on vehicle electrification and the skills gap between what technicians know about this technology and what they need to know to effectively maintain and repair these vehicles. Noteworthy was his warning of how the auto and truck service industry is in danger of losing this business to the electronics industry unless there is a response with adequate training.
Anne Simmons, director of training services for GPC/NAPA Auto Parts, shared her expertise on presentation skills and their importance in transforming a great subject matter expert into a great instructor. Simmons’ presentation focused heavily on how to give positive and constructive feedback to a new presenter.
On the last day of the conference, Ken Benson, training field operations manager with Subaru of North America, presented a summary of the information collected in the OE Training Benchmarks Annual Survey. This survey focuses on facilities, techs per instructor, units-in-operation per tech, number of instructional hours per month and 35 other metrics that help the OE managers benchmark their training programs against others.
Koen Berends, a European training entrepreneur and founder of Electude, spoke on his experiences training in 51 different countries and drew comparisons between effective training in other countries and accepted practices here in the U.S.
Matt Grob, with the Department of Labor’s Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS), was the final presenter, who informed the attendees of the agency’s efforts to prepare America’s veterans and their spouses who are transitioning to private sector careers by providing them with employment resources and expertise, protecting their employment rights and promoting their opportunities. Matt also outlined coordinated efforts with employers to ensure successful transitions through training and support.