The Program Coordinator

The Collision Repair and Paint Shop Apprenticeship Program talks very specifically to Owners, General Managers, and Office Managers of Automobile Body and Refinishing shops.  These are the individuals who will be the Program Coordinator for the Mentor/Apprentice Training Program.

A Program Coordinator with a bad attitude
can ruin the Apprenticeship process.

The biggest obstacle in the successful implementation of new trainable employees is the owner or manager of the operation.  Owners and general managers often believe that the only way to increase employment in their shop is to steal from other shops.  The automotive industry must break that mindset if we want to beat the employment problems.  

Face it! The old days of easy employee acquisition are gone.

Visualize the opportunity to pair a top technician with a new, young employee, and end up with the creation of a quality journeyman technician who works well with your shop's culture.  Why not use this approach, known as Apprenticing or Mentoring in your shop?

A Program Coordinator with a good attitude
makes the Apprenticeship process easy.

As part of the Mentoring/Apprenticeship process, an owner or general manager can expect a dependable process which pays for itself.  A skilled tradesman paired with an assistant can turn enough billable time so that major losses are not incurred, and as the Apprentice learns, his output can more than pay for the training costs.

Why isn't Mentoring/Apprenticing being used all the time to create new quality employees in the auto body and refinish industry?

Owners and managers do not have a system that works!

Owners and managers know that under the right set of circumstances, Mentoring can work and everyone can win, but they don't have a clear plan and system to make it happen.

Owners and managers have not had a high quality
Apprenticeship program to use until now.

There is a perception that Mentoring/Apprenticing only works in larger companies, but the fact is Mentoring does work in smaller companies, when the same successful systems are used.  The Owner or General Manager has to understand and use the precise techniques for training that larger successful companies with human resource departments already have...and they must understand that it should become an ongoing process in their shop. With the support of "We'll Manage It!" every step of the way, your chances go up dramatically for having a successful launch of a new journeyman.

Is Apprenticing the magic bullet that solves the technician shortage?

No! As a matter of fact, not every Apprentice you have will fit in with your shop.  The system does work, though, and it is a tool for a shop that is willing to take a long-term approach and build true quality in their employees. 

What are the components of mentoring that Mentors @ Work uses?

The core elements for a successful Mentoring/Apprenticing program are:

  • The decision to "grow one's own" employees
  • Aggressive and different hiring methods
  • Quality "matching" techniques for putting the right Mentor and Apprentice together
  • Specific outlines for training and goals
  • Statistical tracking and measurement of progress
  • Ongoing managed review (done by the experts at Mentors @ Work through "We'll Manage It!")

A quality Apprenticeship program helps you bring
together the people necessary for success.

What makes Mentors @ Work's program different?

It is the only Mentoring system for the automotive industry that uses one-on-one, up-front management and mentor training, PLUS ongoing web-based tracking so that progress can be measured and problems can be found early, and then corrected.

Why isn't the employee shortage being handled by trade schools?

The practical answer may not be what you want to hear. For whatever reasons, trade schools are not turning out enough talent to meet the demand. Every day it becomes more and more the shop's job to attract help and train the next generation.

Progressive shops should quit asking why someone else isn't staffing your shop and make it one of your top priorities.

Shops that can attract and train will beat shops that can't!

All shops are vulnerable to employee loss.  The progressive owner/manager knows that they have to "add in" technicians rather than continue to play musical chairs with an aging and retiring work force.

How vulnerable is a shop?

Don't let money go walking out your door.
Get the personnel you need to succeed.

With margins as tight as they are, the retirement, death, resignation or termination of a good technician can actually kill a business. "Cycle time" is the latest industry buzz word. Insurers are measuring your throughput. If cars are backlogged at your door, they are willing to take ALL their business to shops that can consistently deliver.

The biggest loss you can suffer may be the inability to meet cycle time agreements and the loss of an insurance program worth 30% of your business as vehicles stack up.

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