78% of teachers and 52% of counselors in local high schools receive no information
regarding automotive career opportunities.
Identifying a shortage of skilled workers is relatively straightforward for a focused
industry association such as the Southland Motor Car Dealers Association. However, it is more
challenging to identify why the shortage exists, and what effective steps can be taken to
address the challenge.
Cerritos College, which has over 1,000 students enrolled in its automotive programs, took the lead
in surveying its own students and local high schools to determine what factors were involved in
their choice of educational programs. Their surveys determined that almost half (46%) of students
had a negative opinion of automotive careers, because there is little understanding in the general
student population of the complex technology and skill sets required by automotive technicians.
Also, 78% of teachers and 52% of counselors in local high schools receive no information
regarding lucrative opportunities in the automotive career sector.
Cerritos College was in the best position to connect with its students and with local schools
to obtain this information. It is through regional cooperation that organizations including the SELACO
WIB can build on such information to develop effective strategies to improve the entire pipeline.