DENVER – The automotive industry is looking for new skilled technicians in the Denver metro area, and you might not even have to go back to school for it.
The industry says there aren’t enough young people entering its workforce and that many employees have lately been retiring or are being promoted, which has created a huge shortage of auto techs.
But some in the industry are singing the praises of being an auto tech, saying the benefits can last an entire career.
“College isn’t for everybody, frankly,” said Todd Maul, with the John Elway Dealership Group. “Especially the debt associated with a four-year degree – when they can get a career as an automotive technician and make tons of money. Our best technicians make $120,000 to $150,000 a year.”
The Clean The Air Foundation provides $1 million worth of scholarships each year to those interested in pursuing an auto tech career.
The Colorado Automobile Dealers Association also has information on training and different positions on its website.
And despite the industry-wide shortage, Emily Griffith Technical College says enrollment in its skilled trade program was up 38 percent last fall from the prior fall.
It has programs in welding, auto service, auto collision, CAD and HVAC systems. For more information on the college, click here.
Another industry, construction and building is also feeling the effects of a dwindling workforce.
Gene Myers is the CEO of Thrive Home Builders. He told Denver 7, there is an extreme shortage in workers and that is driving the cost of homes up.
“Can look back and reminisce on a time when craftsmanship was really valued and it was an honorable thing to work with your hands,” said Myers.
The problem he believes, is twofold. After the recession, he said, many workers left and didn’t come back. And on a widespread level, he felt the impacts of President Trump’s immigration policy are hitting the industry hard.
“When we discourage people who are here legally and doing things right and when we create a sentiment that they are unwanted in our community, it’s really working against all of us," said Myers.