The TechForce Foundation recently launched a new video in partnership with Caliber Collision, #BeaCollisionTech, designed to educate young people about the opportunities and benefits that a career in collision repair offers. TechForce’s annual Supply and Demand Report revealed that among the transportation sectors, collision is suffering the most from the tech shortage. The ratio of demand to supply for collision repair technicians is 7.9 to 1, nearly eight job opportunities for every one collision tech graduate.
As a leader in the collision industry, Caliber is at the forefront of addressing collision technician shortages with its proprietary Technician Apprentice Program (TAP). Through TAP, and with strategic partners like TechForce, Caliber is attracting, training, and employing the next generation of auto body technicians.
To craft a compelling message and video, TechForce went to the source and interviewed dozens of students currently enrolled in collision engineering programs and apprenticeships. These interviews uncovered precisely what attracted students to a collision repair career path, and TechForce was able to incorporate their exact sentiments in the video. Students shared that it’s an art that’s in demand; the high-tech, emerging technologies ensure they’re never bored; they enjoy mastering not just the mechanics, but the computers, calibration services and artistic side of paint and body work; and that this hands-on, problem-solving profession is a better fit for them than a traditional college pathway.
“As a national nonprofit, TechForce is committed to helping people discover an education and career that fits,” shares Jennifer Maher, CEO of TechForce Foundation. “Most young people aren’t even aware the collision tech option exists or they think it’s just replacing bumpers and paint. But with advancing technologies, it’s much more of a ‘new collar’, technology-centric profession today,” says Maher.
“Rather than seasoned adults telling young people about their options, we engage with GenZ to share their own words and journey with their peers,” says Angie Babin, president of TechForce’s board of directors and vice president of supply chain for Caliber Collision. “This is also why TechForce has invested in the TechForce Network,” a gamified, online career hub and app (Apple & Android) where students can find all the resources needed to explore and pursue technical education and careers. “You have to meet students where they are,” adds Babin. Each year, TechForce awards nearly $1.5 million in scholarships and grants to students pursuing their technical education through the TechForce Network.
TechForce’s Be a Collision Tech video was underwritten by Caliber, one of TechForce’s corporate donors in the collision repair sector. Caliber, in turn, will leverage the video to create awareness of TAP among potential apprentice and mentor candidates.
TechForce plans to continue delivering its educational video series across other technician sectors, ranging from collision and automotive to diesel, motorsports, heavy equipment/machinery and emerging technologies, including electric and autonomous vehicles.
“Students need choices for their futures, and the skilled trades are viable, well-paying, sustainable careers that shouldn’t be overlooked,” says Maher. “TechForce and its donors are committed to giving students options.”