Affiliate News

MNCARS: Promoting Industry Careers

October 21, 2017

Minnesota Careers in Auto Repair and Service (MNCARS) is a non-profit organization established in 2016 by the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN). Its sole purpose is to promote careers in the automotive industry, recruit young people into the state’s college-level automotive service and collision repair programs and, ultimately, into industry workplaces. Now 20 months into the initiative, MNCARS is pleased to report progress on a number of fronts…

 Developed website, social media presence, marketing materials, counselors kit and other collateral to educate target audiences (“tinkerers”, school counselors and parents) about the career opportunities in today’s automotive service and collision repair industry
 Established an industry speaker’s bureau and recruited “student ambassadors” to promote careers in the auto service and collision industry
 Presented to middle school and high school automotive students and participated in career and college fairs throughout the state
 Activated social media campaign to drive traffic to carcareers.org
 Sponsored St. Cloud Times SPARK feature on transportation careers and event at St. Cloud CTC
 Distributed introductory materials and career promotion posters to school counselors
 Organized World of Wheels Student Day
 Attended MN School Counselors Association conference (2015 – 2017)
 Exhibited at Back to the 50s (2016 & 2017)

Dan Sjolseth, owner of Superior Service Centers in Eagan and Apple Valley, and chairman of MNCARS, states, “Those of us who have been involved in this effort from the beginning feel like we’re really starting to gain some momentum. Counselors, educators and parents appear to be much more receptive to the idea that a 4-year college degree is not for everyone and that the skilled trades – especially automotive – have a lot to offer: rewarding and varied career paths with high earnings potential in a high-tech, high-demand industry.”

Looking ahead, plans are underway to:

 Activate the grassroots army of AASP-MN members at the local level to spread the MNCARS message far and wide
 Partner with the MN Transportation Center of Excellence to deploy a career exploration trailer at local events to build interest and provide hands-on experiences related to automotive careers
 Continue presentations to high school automotive students and participation in career and college fairs throughout the state
 Continue social media engagement to drive traffic to carcareers.org
 Begin fundraising necessary to sustain the campaign into the future

Sjolseth added, “It’s going to take the work of the entire industry to keep driving our message home and make a bigger impact. The future of each and every automotive business depends on the availability of skilled technicians and other qualified employees. We encourage all members of the industry to put the resources developed by MNCARS to use in their own backyard to advocate and educate target audiences about the bright outlook for automotive service and collision repair careers and jobs in our state.”

The MNCARS initiative is made possible by the generous contributions of industry organizations and companies. Check out www.carcareers.org and visit the About Us page to see a list of sponsors and supporters. Those who are interested in contributing by volunteering their time or financial support should contact the AASP-MN office at 612-623-1110 or judell@aaspmn.org.

Read More

Affiliate News

AASP-MN Awards Scholarships to Automotive Students

July 11, 2017

The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) is pleased to announce scholarship awards totaling $18,000 to help automotive service and collision repair students pay for tuition and tools during the 2017-18 school year. The scholarships are in the amount of $1,000 per student and were made possible by a successful fundraising drive within the AASP-MN membership, as well as a generous donation from the Minnesota State I-CAR Committee.

Read More

Affiliate News

CarCareers.org Puts Students in the Driver’s Seat to their Future

July 26, 2016

Minnesota Careers in Automotive Repair and Service launches CarCareers.org as central resource for automotive career information

    MINNEAPOLIS (June 30, 2016) – Each year, the demand for qualified automotive service and collision repair technicians and other industry employees far exceeds the supply of incoming professionals. To ensure a future workforce to keep Minnesota consumers driving, Minnesota Careers in Automotive Repair and Service (MNCARS) has launched a multifaceted campaign that provides students, parents, teachers and guidance counselors with a better picture of the pathways to success and career opportunities in the automotive industry.

    “CarCareers.org will help parents, teachers, influencers and students overcome misperceptions about the automotive industry and attract the qualified job candidates employers desperately need,” said Judell Anderson, executive director of the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota, founder and platinum sponsor of MNCARS. “With hundreds of jobs waiting for skilled employees, the time is now to attract new professionals to our technology-driven field.”

    The website includes sections on: reasons to pursue an automotive career; facts to counter common misperceptions about the industry; career paths; success spotlights and a depiction of the 21st century automotive service and collision shop to demonstrate the cutting-edge diagnostics and computer-driven technology that is common in today’s shops. Visitors will come away with a better understanding of the advantages that a two-year automotive program offers in getting started in the workforce.

    CarCareers.org was developed and will be hosted and managed by Autoshop Solutions, an award-winning web design and Internet marketing agency based in Apex, NC. “We are thrilled to be able to work with MNCARS on this campaign,” says Danny Sanchez, Founder and CEO of Autoshop Solutions. “CarCareers.org will serve as a positive introduction to the industry for thousands of people, and we are proud that we were chosen to help bring the campaign to life.”

    Over the next two years, MNCARS will reach audiences by hosting events at schools and community locations for students to get hands-on exposure to car career jobs, developing and promoting media stories that feature local pros and their stories, sharing news coverage of the industry and creating a digital “toolkit” for counselors and teachers that presents accurate, positive information about the industry’s career options.

    MNCARS’ first event was “Back to the 50s” on June 17-19 at the Minnesota State Fairgrounds. Information was shared with teens and their parents about the exciting career opportunities that exist in the industry. Attendees were also encouraged to share their favorite photos from the event on Facebook. Information will also be available at the Street Machine Nationals event July 15- 17, also at the fairgrounds. “These events are a great forum to reach car hobbyists and get them thinking about turning their love for cars into a rewarding career,” said Anderson.

    Visit www.CarCareers.org to learn more. MNCARS can also be found on Facebook.com/carcareers and on Instagram @carcareers.

    About Minnesota Careers in Automotive Repair and Service
    Minnesota Careers in Automotive Repair and Service (MNCARS) is a workforce initiative created by a cross-section of automotive industry representatives, including independent repair shops, multiple shop operators, suppliers, technical college administrators and other industry organizations. Its goal is to ensure a future workforce for Minnesota’s automotive service industry by raising awareness and recruiting people into technical college automotive education programs (collision and mechanical) and industry careers. MNCARS will help parents, influencers and students overcome misperceptions of the industry and attract the qualified employees the industry needs.

    About Autoshop Solutions
    Autoshop Solutions is an award-winning website design and Internet marketing agency based in Apex, NC. Since 2005, Autoshop Solutions has been helping the automotive industry with custom-designed websites and Internet marketing solutions, including Google Adwords, SEO, Social Media, Direct Mail, Custom Video, and more. For three years in a row, 2013, 2014 and 2015, Autoshop Solutions has been named to the Inc 5000 List of America’s Fastest Growing Companies and awarded seven years in a row by AutoInc. in the Top 10 Websites. Stay connected with Autoshop Solutions on Facebook and Twitter, or contact Autoshop Solutions Press press@autoshopsolutions.com for more information.

    For more information, contact Judell Andersonaasp@aaspmn.org or visit the AASP-MN website, www.aaspmn.org.
    MNCARS Launch Press Release

    Read More

    Affiliate News

    AASP-MN Awards $14,000 in Scholarships to Automotive Students

    July 26, 2016

    The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) awarded $14,000 in scholarships to help post-secondary automotive students pay for tuition during the 2016-17 school year. The scholarships are in the amount of $1,000 per student and were made possible by a successful fundraising drive within the AASP-MN membership, as well as a generous donation from the Minnesota State I-CAR Committee. All recipients will be entering the second year of a NATEF-certified automotive program based in Minnesota.

    Congratulations to this year’s recipients!

  1. Dylan Ahrndt, Ridgewater College, Willmar – Auto Body Collision Repair
  2. Trevor Dosch, Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount – Auto Body Collision Repair
  3. Jamie Garciano Acosta, Hennepin Technical College, Brooklyn Park – Auto Body Collision Repair
  4. Rachel Meisch, MN State College Southeast Technical, Winona – Automotive Service Technology
  5. Kevin Miller, Century College, White Bear Lake – Automotive Service Technology
  6. Juan Mireles, MN State Community & Technical College, Detroit Lakes – Automotive Service Technology
  7. Ryan Moe, Century College, White Bear Lake – Automotive Service Technology
  8. Kevin Nguyen, Hennepin Technical College, Eden Prairie – Auto Body Collision Repair
  9. Codey Owen, Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount – Auto Body Collision Repair
  10. Cory Reller, Century College, White Bear Lake – Automotive Service Technology
  11. Ben Scherger, Dakota County Technical College, Rosemount – Auto Body Collision Repair
  12. Bryant Swiers, MN State Community & Technical College, Moorhead – Automotive Service Technology
  13. Beverly White, Dunwoody College of Technology, Minneapolis – Automotive Service Technology
  14. Bradley Williams, Dunwoody College of Technology, Minneapolis – Automotive Service Technology
    1. Thirty students from 12 schools were eligible for the scholarships. Applications were reviewed by a committee of industry representatives, with consideration given to scholastic achievement, education and career goals, financial need and written recommendations.

      The scholarship awards are the centerpiece of AASP-MN’s Automotive Education Fund, which was established to provide financial resources to support automotive students, enhance automotive programs and raise awareness of career opportunities in the independent automotive service industry.

      The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) is an association of nearly 800 independently-owned automotive service businesses and industry suppliers dedicated to improving the state’s automotive service industry and the success of its members.

      For more information, contact aasp@aaspmn.org or visit the AASP-MN website, www.aaspmn.org.

      Read More

      Affiliate News

      AASP-MN Annual Meeting & Leadership Conference Highlights

      May 26, 2016

      The Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) held its 2016 Annual Meeting and Leadership Conference, April 14, at the Ramada Plaza, Minneapolis. The event, with the theme “Lead the Way,” offered seminars covering topics from effective leadership, industry consolidation, and authentic persuasion to how to increase diagnostic labor sales and improve workflow scheduling. In addition, there were ample opportunities for networking and socializing with industry peers.

      Richard Flint kicked off the event with “Mastering the 5 Skills for Effective Leadership,” which explored the traits an individual must possess—and master— to establish true leadership. Brad Mewes of Supplement!, followed with “Help! My Industry is Consolidating,” which explained the state of industry consolidation and the challenges and opportunities that consolidation presents.

      During the annual meeting, AASP-MN Lobbyist Kevin Walli gave a brief legislative update, the 2016-17 Board of Directors were introduced, and awards were presented to outgoing board members and other volunteer leaders. In addition, AASP-MN Executive Director Judell Anderson and Office Manager Jodi Pillsbury, were recognized for celebrating 20 and 25 years of service, respectively. After a report on the association’s initiatives, guests were treated to an inspiring keynote by Sam Silverstein, which highlighted the key elements to create a culture that prioritizes and inspires accountability.

      Afternoon programming included, “Collision Workflow: Better Scheduling = Greater Success,” presented by Kent Carlson, Collision Resources, “Increase Your Diagnostic Labor Sales,” presented by Steve Taylor, Action Business Solutions, “Building Your Accountable Organization,” presented by Sam Silverstein, and “Authentic Persuasion: Communication That Moves Others to Action,” presented Josh Dye of Convene LLC. Peer-to-peer roundtable discussions wrapped up the day’s educational offerings.

      When the seminars were over, attendees enjoyed a happy hour with vendor exhibits displaying everything from business insurance to rental cars. The relaxed environment provided attendees opportunities to network with others and learn about the latest products and services available to the automotive repair industry.

      Following happy hour, the fun moved to the industry dinner and comedy show, where attendees were treated to a great dinner and entertainment by Comedian C. Willi Myles. The show, sponsored by Dent Impressions, left everyone in stitches.

      In addition to AASP-MN, the following companies were sponsors of the event:

        Gold Sponsors
        Auto Value Parts Stores/APH Autoshop Solutions
        Axalta Coating Systems
        CBIZ AiA
        Meadowbrook Insurance
        PPG Automotive Finishes United Fire Group
          Silver Sponsors
          aaa Auto Parts
          Dent Impressions
          Enterprise Rent-A-Car
          LKQ/Keystone Automotive
          Lowell’s Performance Coatings & Equipment Midwest Parts Advantage
          Mitchell International
          O’Reilly Auto Parts
          PAM’s Auto, Inc.
          R.O. Writer
          Suburban Chevrolet
            Vendor Sponsors
            3M
            Choice Auto Rental
            Dentsmart Paintless Dent Removal
            FinishMaster
            Global Finishing Solutions
            Hertz Corporation
            Insurance Brokers of MN, Inc./The Jensen Agency Kukui Corporation
            Net Driven
            Sherwin Willams
            Single Source, Inc.
            Valspar

            AASP-MN is an association of independently-owned automotive service businesses and industry suppliers dedicated to improving Minnesota’s automotive service industry and the success of its nearly 800 members. For more information, www.aaspmn.org

            Read More

            Affiliate News

            AASP-MN is First Platinum Sponsor of Industry Workforce Initiative

            October 19, 2015

            At a time when companies throughout the industry are struggling to find the level of highly-qualified employees they need now and into the future, the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Minnesota (AASP-MN) has stepped up to the plate with $50,000 to actually do something about it. The funds will support a campaign designed to feed the pipeline of future employees by changing the narrative about automotive service careers, informing potential students and employees about the number of rewarding opportunities that exist within the automotive industry – AND helping students who have the skills and profile for success explore career decisions in the trade.

            This is an effort of a newly-formed group, Minnesota Careers in Automotive Repair and Service – aka MNCARS – of which AASP-MN is a member. MNCARS is made up of a cross-section of industry representatives, including independent repair shops, new car dealers, multiple shop operators (MSOs), suppliers, insurers, technical college administrators and other industry organizations.  The goal of MNCARS is to ensure a future workforce for Minnesota’s automotive service industry by raising awareness and recruiting young people into post-secondary automotive education programs (collision and mechanical) and industry careers.

            MNCARS has partnered with Risdall, a leading marketing and communications agency, to develop and oversee the two-year campaign. Important elements of the initiative will include:

            • Connecting with potential students, their parents, and high school influencers, including counselors, to provide a better picture of the pathways to success and opportunity available in the automotive industry
            • Developing an online site to serve as a centerpiece in educating target audiences and the broader community on the opportunities available within the automotive industry. This hub, and accompanying printed materials, will share the exciting careers, success stories, and advantages that a two-year automotive program offers in getting started in the workforce
            • Hosting live events at schools and community locations to engage students in both fun and informative activities to allow them to begin to think of automotive repair as more than a hobby
            • Creating an “influencer kit” to provide professionals that work with students a simple-to-use toolkit that presents positive information on the industry and career options
            • Media stories and outreach to address misperceptions and inform individuals throughout Minnesota of opportunities within the automotive service industry

            The AASP-MN Board of Directors identified the availability of a future workforce as a key priority for the association during its strategic planning session in early 2014. Since that time, AASP-MN has dedicated time, money and resources to support various projects and outreach efforts to high school automotive instructors and counselors, as well as scholarships for post-secondary automotive students.  “It’s time our industry was intentional about its collective brand as employers,” says Judell Anderson, AASP-MN Executive Director.  “It will take a collaborative and unified effort to cut through all the ‘noise’ and overcome the misperceptions about working in the automotive service industry and attract the kind of high-level employees we need.  The MNCARS initiative is designed to accomplish just that.”

            Sponsorship opportunities are available for those within the industry to support these important efforts. Sponsorship can range from one time or annual pledges, to corporate sponsorships which will include prominent placement and recognition on the MNCARS campaign website.  For more information, contact aasp@aaspmn.org or visit the AASP-MN website, www.aaspmn.org.

            Read More
            Older Posts >>