How Caliber's Training Program Gives Technicians a Purposeful Career
Eddie Hightower, Senior Vice President, Sustainability & Social Responsibility - Caliber Collision
Skilled talent is in high demand - in every industry. Caliber Collision is facing the shortage in the automotive collision repair industry, where they estimate 30% of the market needs are being unmet due to a lack of technicians.
Eddie Hightower heads up Caliber's sustainability & social responsibility efforts, which includes the company's Technician Apprentice Program, designed to address the shortage of trained technicians in the industry.
We sat down with Eddie to learn just what makes this program so successful that its enrollment has taken off in the few short years since its launch. Discover the keys to a successful workforce training program - including mentorship, company culture, and working alongside education.
Plus, hear the newest advancements in the automotive industry that will impact the skills our nation's technicians will need in the coming years.
3 Big Takeaways from this episode:
- Initiatives like Caliber's Technician Apprentice Program lift the entire industry up: "What if I invest in training my people, and then they go work somewhere else?" We hear this all the time from companies who don't offer employee training. Caliber does just the opposite. They're not afraid to invest an entire year training individuals to become automotive technicians - even if that person leaves - because they understand the value of lifting up the entire industry. And what they find is that the positive impact the training program leaves on those individuals is more than enough to keep them working at Caliber after they complete the program.
- Automotive Technician is truly a STEAM career: Eddie calls them "the artisans of Caliber." There's an art to automotive collision repair that requires creativity, on top of the technical skills you'd normally think of. Companies like caliber need the artistic students just as much as the technical ones, which is why STEAM programs can be a great pathway for students to find a creative outlet and a career.
- The evolution of automotive technology will require technicians to continue training throughout their careers: College automotive programs and apprenticeship programs like Caliber's can do a great job launching the career of an individual, but the learning can't stop there. Eddie shares some of the ongoing developments in the automotive industry - like sensors, batteries and EV technology - that will require technicians to gain new skills throughout the course of their career.
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