HONOLULU (KHON2) — The automotive industry is consistently adding more advanced technology to their vehicles, but at the same time, we need more advanced technicians to work on those vehicles.
Now, there’s a nationwide shortage of mechanics, with demand doubling in 2021 to 258,000 according to TechForce Foundation. As more mechanics age and retire, you might have more wait times to get your vehicle serviced.
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“We’re going to lose a lot of shops to attrition,” K&Y Auto Services owner Frank Young said.
Whether you take your car to a dealership or a small shop to get fixed, chances are they’re looking for help.
“Both sides they need workers, dealerships come over here the first semester they asking for hire people,” Honolulu Community College Automotive Technology Assistant Professor Robert Silva said.
He’s seen a decrease in enrollment, but that hasn’t been the only issue.
“The enrollment it’s just how much students are coming in,” Silva said. “Are they even going to go into it after they finish their degree? Because that’s a problem too, right?”
According to the state, Hawaii has had a 33% increase in electric vehicle registration in February opposed to last year. Young thinks the future is scaring some away.
“if you’re a young kid in your 20s and 30s and read the paper and look at the television and see Tesla and all the electric cars coming out, do you really see a future?” Young said.
Even though it’s tougher to learn math, computer, and electronics necessary now Young argues it is a great career with good pay and stability, but he says that hasn’t been enough.
“Can make $60-$70 thousand a year, and the kids were like are you crazy? I’m not gonna work that hard for $60,000 or $70,000,” Young said.
Silva thinks more needs to be done to get auto shop programs and other trades in school.
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“They say even elementary in middle school, getting that interest in students to see what other kind of professions you have out there. We have to deal with that stigma with automotive, what you no can pass school?”