Looking to put students in the fast lane to new careers, members of the New York State Automobile Dealers Association (NYSADA) toured Capital Region BOCES Career and Technical School (CTE) and met with students, faculty and staff to discuss the future of the industry.
The association executives and board members — mainly owners of local dealerships — met with CTE automotive and auto body students, discussed outreach efforts and how the industry needs well trained students and sought input on how to better draw new blood into the industry.
Appealing to the knowledge of technology many young people have, NYSADA President Robert Vancavage told a room full of CTE automotive student,s "You guys are really IT guys. You are far from the mechanics of my day."
"There are more computers in cars today than were in the first Apollo spaceships," he added, before association representatives showcased their marketing efforts.
Among those efforts is a new website — www.NYSAutoJobs.com — that will be launched in the coming weeks and is meant as an interactive tool between dealerships and people looking for jobs.
The group of approximately 10 automotive executives also toured the three shops CTE has at its Albany campus for students to repair cars, as well as make auto body repairs and even clean and detail them.
They also met with individual students who took the opportunity to network and try to launch careers.
One such student, Alan Jhoot of Schenectady, spoke with Jeff Haradan, president of Mohawk Honda.
"I like to talk and mingle and meet new people and help them out," Jhoot told him as they stood in a hallway outside a CTE auto lab.
Haradan said he was always looking for helpers to show new car owners "all the bells and whistles" while the salesman completes the paperwork for a sale.
He encouraged Jhoot — a junior — to apply for a summer job and told him that with his outgoing demeanor, he could go advance quickly in the industry.
In the top photo, Alan Jhoot, a CTE student from Schenectady, talks with NYSADA reps.
In the photo to the right, Jeff Haradan of Mohawk Honda talks to CTE students.