Paving the way forward for the next generation of dealers with student support.
It has been said many times before, but I would like to say it again: this year has been one for the record books. We have faced hardships that no one would have expected at the top of the year, and we will continue to face challenges in the industry and in our daily lives.
However, one aspect that will not change is the level of support being provided by the New Car Dealers Association of BC (NCDA) to students who are pursuing a career in the automotive sector. It continues to be important to us to give back to students, and perhaps even more so in the current climate.
In addition to awards established with post-secondary schools, including Georgian College, Okanagan College, Vancouver Island University, and Coast Mountain College, support comes in the form of $10,000 in funds each that are distributed through the NCDA CarCareerBC grants.
Another $55,000 in award funding comes from interest income from an endowment fund set up through generous donations by BC’s New Car Dealers, as well as fundraisers organized through the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC. And thanks to friends of our foundation, Adesa Auctions and First Canadian, an additional $30,000 was raised for awards and scholarships earlier this summer to provide to students.
For those contemplating a career choice, imagine a job in a stable, growing industry where you get to meet new people and help them find a product that will both improve and enrich their quality of life for years to come.
There is no doubt the last several months have been tremendously challenging for many sectors, including ours. However, for those who may take a pause, consider the latest report from DesRosiers Automotive Consultants (DAC) that shows Canadian auto sales in Q3 are estimated to be down only 3.9 per cent compared to Q3 2019 levels — a much better result than we have seen in recent months, and one that presents reason for optimism.
The NCDA represents more than 390 new car dealers that employ some 30,000 people in family supporting jobs in more than 50 communities across British Columbia. The sector represents the second largest category of retail sales in B.C. with over 19 per cent! The industry also offers many opportunities for growth and career advancement.
Our members are guided by industry training programs, as well as programs offered through educational organizations, to provide training for new workers.
Whether people are just starting a career, or looking for a change, a job at a new car dealership can be both personally and financially rewarding. Dealership opportunities range from sales consultants to service technicians, accountants, and marketing and administration staff — who all share a love for engaging with people and an enthusiasm for new cars and trucks.
With a wave of retirements coming in the next few years, this is a rewarding industry to consider for a career. However, working at a new car dealer is about more than just money and career advancement.
Our members and their employees are actively involved in their local communities. This includes a wide range of local charities and sports groups, as well as community and service clubs, charity boards, and committees. In fact, many of our members sponsor charities and organizations through cash donations and merchandise prizes.
Through our collective efforts, I have no doubt that the auto sector will emerge from this experience with a renewed outlook, along with a complement of enthusiastic young leaders to help carry us into the future.