Historically, it has been difficult for dealers to find good, productive technicians to turn wrenches in their Service Departments and it doesn’t appear that it will get any easier in the foreseeable future. NJ CAR has been hearing from dealers about the lack of technician talent for years, which is why the Coalition, in cooperation with the United States Department of Labor (USDOL), the NewJersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJLWD) and several manufacturers, created the Registered Apprenticeship Program. The Program is a two-year, competency-based program, structured on the Automotive Youth Educational System (AYES) model. While it is far-fetched to believe that fully-trained, qualified and productive technicians can be found growing on trees, complete with a full box of tools, ready and eager to tackle the next repair, it is possible to turn the tide on the looming shortage of technicians. Rather than stealing technicians from each other or hiring the cast-offs from other dealerships, what if you could grow your own? What if you could find young men and women who have already demonstrated an interest in learning how to fix cars, who have already demonstrated an aptitude for analysis, diagnosis and repair? What if you could find young men and women willing to listen, who have not formed bad habits over years of less-than-productive employment? Now You Can! NJ CAR administers the Registered Apprentice Program mentioned earlier in this article. Beginning with part-time employment, while the candidate is still in high school, and ending with a technician who is certified in at least four areas of ASE, the NJ CAR/AYES Registered Apprentice Program provides dealers with a clear roadmap to grow their own technicians. For more information regarding the NJ CAR/AYES Registered Apprentice Program, please contact Program Coordinator, Mark McAleer, at 609.883.5056, Ext. 332 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.