SuperConference is known within the automotive industry for providing a setting where auto shop owners can learn new strategies, network and give back to a local charity. The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is the latest of many charities the SuperConference attendees have supported throughout the years.
The mikeroweWORKS Foundation is on a mission to help close the skills gap by challenging the stigmas and stereotypes that discourage people from pursuing millions of available jobs. Led by Mike Rowe, best known as the creator and host of the iconic TV series Dirty Jobs, the mikeroweWORKS Foundation has provided millions of dollars in work ethic scholarships to qualified recipients pursuing a career in the skilled trades, including those training in the automotive industry.
“We interviewed dozens of local charities based near our latest SuperConference venue,” said ATI president Richard Menneg. “The mikeroweWORKS Foundation stood out the most because it addresses a growing problem afflicting our members and the industry-“ the tech labor shortage.”
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the automotive industry employs 750,000 service technicians. Just to keep pace with retirement and new jobs in this sector, we need to replace approximately 76,000 technicians each year. America’s technical colleges and training programs graduate about 37,000 new technicians a year. This leaves an annual shortage of approximately 39,000 technicians.
“The skills gap is not a mystery, but it’s a reflection of what we value,” said Rowe. “To close the gap, we need to change the way the country feels about work. ATI is focused on the kind of skills that are actually in demand, and I’m grateful for its support of my foundation.”