Shortage Of Auto Technicians Has Tulsa Shops Scrambling For Help

Saturday, October 17th 2015, 9:53 pm

By: News On 6

A nationwide shortage of skilled laborers is causing problems in Tulsa.

Trained mechanics are hard to come by, putting car dealerships and auto shops in a pinch.

One local dealership is hoping to encourage high school students to consider a career as a service technician.

“There's always going to be a job for an automotive technician,” student Skotty Camp said.

The 17 year old has always been fascinated by the things that make cars run.

“I actually work on my motorcycle and my mother’s car all the time, so it's kind of like a hobby to me, more than a job," Camp said.

He's one of a handful of high school students chosen to take part in Universal Technical Institutes' recruitment program.

The program shows them what a day in the job looks like, and what the school has to offer.

It's a push to get students interested in a wide-open market.

“Right now, we need almost 35,000 technicians a year, this industry does,” Lexus of Tulsa Service Director Ted Dollar said. “We are the largest at what we do, and we don't even come close to meeting the need.”

The need is something Dollar faces when looking for qualified people.

“The lack of technicians wanting to get into this field is probably our biggest issue,” he said.

So he searches for new hires like a sports scout.

"It's always a recruiting game,” he said. “I recruit at restaurants, you never know.”

Ted hopes he won't always have to do that.

He wants more young people to discover what the automotive industry has to offer.

"If you're not a traditional student and you like to work with your hands, there is a great opportunity for you in this industry,” a UTI rep said.

An opportunity Skotty is set to accept.



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