Supporting workers still important amid COVID

The importance of supporting automotive industry employees and new entries in the sector should not be ignored this year.

2020 was a year that brought forth many surprises, unexpected changes, and challenges. As we enter into the second month of 2021, I hope we return to some sort of normalcy for our dealerships across Canada and for those who aspire to join the industry.

Though much did change over the last year, one thing that did not change was our commitment at the New Car Dealers Association of BC’s (NCDA) to car careers and those looking to pursue a career in the automotive sector.

One in seven Canadians are tied to the auto sector in some way, shape, or form and our pledge to support workers and those entering the industry is an important one. Supporting the training of new and current workers is increasingly more significant. A wide range of skillsets are required to meet the evolving technological needs of the sector, while also establishing our industry’s future leaders.

Every year, the NCDA contributes to several scholarship funds to ensure continued education and interest for careers in the auto sector. In addition to awards established with post-secondary schools, support comes in the form of $10,000 in funds that are distributed via CarCareersBC.

Another $55,000 in award funding comes from an endowment fund set up through generous donations made by BC’s New Car Dealers, as well as fundraisers organized through the New Car Dealers Foundation of BC. And thanks to foundation partners Adesa Auctions and First Canadian, an additional $30,000 was raised for awards and scholarships for students.

For those contemplating a career choice, we encourage them to 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 10 months have been tremendously challenging for many sectors, including ours. However, for those who may take pause, consider that year-end numbers are predicted to be down 20 per cent — a figure that would have once been alarming, but is remarkably positive, given vehicle sales numbers earlier in the pandemic.

The NCDA represents almost 400 new car dealers that employ some 30,000 people in family supporting jobs in over 50 communities across B.C.

The NCDA represents almost 400 new car dealers that employ some 30,000 people in family supporting jobs in over 50 communities across B.C. The industry also offers many opportunities for growth and career advancement. Our dealer members are guided by industry training programs, as well as programs offered through educational organizations to provide training for new workers.

Whether you’re just starting your 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, service technicians to accountants, marketing and administration staff — all who share a love for engaging with people, and of course, 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 dealership 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.

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