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This coming new year, 2017, will be a very exciting year for the automotive industry in British Columbia. Multiple reports have been released by the B.C. Government, highlighting the shortage of labour within the industry over the next 5 to 10 years. It is now more important than ever to profile, promote and encourage everyone seeking a career change to the automotive industry.

I am very excited to come aboard the British Columbia Automotive Sector Alliance (BCASA) for 2017 as the Project Manager to help not only promote the industry but also excel and push the message of the abundance and need of people to pursue careers within this sector. In partnership with the Automotive Retailers Association (ARA) and the New Car Dealership Association (NCDA), we will be pursuing many avenues both traditional and digital to promote the career opportunities within the automotive sector.

It is rewarding to be promoting the labour market in British Columbia, as well as profiling and promoting trade careers to students as well as all people of all ages. Previously, I worked with WorkBC as a Marketing and Engagement Manager – my role included promoting all of the in demand roles and industries within B.C. – online and traditionally – as well as attending many career and educational fairs within the province. I truly understand the importance of helping to provide the youth and workers of today with up to date labour market information to help them guide and make informative decisions towards their career paths. I also proudly come from a trades family and know the importance of these roles in British Columbia. My role at BCASA does not only combine my passion but my expertise, and I am looking forward to excelling the BCASA’s mandate and improving the interest, enrollment and application to the automotive trade industry within British Columbia.

BCASA has been very active in the last couple of months. Although I have just started in December, the organization has been very involved in many promotional efforts. This includes many educational and career fairs, as well as in-person presentations at high schools across the province. Thank you to ARA’s own David Riberio – who has been instrumental in attending our high school presentations across the lower mainland, alongsie the Vehicle Safety Authority (VSA) including ‘Walt the Curber’. These presentations have been helpful in providing information to grade 10’s about the career opportunities within the sector, as well as, helping first-time car buyers understand the importance of being knowledgeable and address the risks or buying a new or used car.

Over the past month as the Project and Marketing Manager, I have been fortunate enough to attend multiple career fairs throughout the province, as well as, present at career and planning classes at local high schools. These initial events have been a great introduction into promoting the automotive industry.

For career fair and events, we were excited to be a part of the Education Career Fairs (ECF) series which hosted career fairs in Abbotsford, Nanaimo, Kelowna and Vancouver. Many different corporations such as the RCMP and Steve Nash Fitness Studios, as well as post-secondary institutions like BCIT and Vancouver Career College,  as well as more private education schools like the Aveda Institute and Vancouver Film School were represented. Our presence was popular with students, having a heavily trafficked booth, and very many students, more so of female gender, interested in a career within the automotive sector.

Additionally, we attended career planning ten classes in December at the Tawanamanis Secondary School. In collaboration with the VSA, we presented the vast career paths within the industry but also outlines the best practices on how to buy your first vehicle. Students – and teachers alike – were very impressed by both presentations, and we have the highest evaluations scores to date.

Over the last weeks, I have been working on a full marketing and promotional strategy and will be presenting to the newly formed Advisory Committee comprised of members from the ARA and NCDA in the new year. Initial items within my strategy include:

  • Continuing outreach and presentations in conjunction with VSA
  • Full update of the BCASA Website
  • Additional outreach and attending industry events and proposing presentations
  • Year-long marketing and promotional campaign – traditionally and digitally – of the automotive sector

Partnering with automotive industry companies and organizations