To the Editor:
I am responding to Doug Leithauser's Nov. 21 letter about technician jobs. I believe his suggestion that we "look at the long hours and poor working conditions" is an unfair and inaccurate view of the problem.
I am a small Ford dealer in New Hampshire. The pay of my 12 techs ranges from the low $30,000s to the mid-$70,000s, depending on experience.
They work 45 hours a week, enjoy a full range of benefits, including a 401K, and I know every one by his first name. I attend all monthly tech meetings and help solve any problems they may have.
We successfully recruit techs from local high schools. Most of my techs are Ford ASSET (Automotive Student Service Educational Training) graduates.
Six are Ford senior master techs. One placed fourth in the 2004 national competition of the Ford Senior Master Technician Challenge. He just missed third place, which would have earned him a two-year lease on a Focus. We were so proud of him that we gave him a two-year lease on a Ford Ranger 4x4.
Leithauser's suggestion insults the vast majority of dealers who treat their techs very well. Such a blanket condemnation of dealers is really out of touch with reality and does an injustice to dealers who really care about their technicians. Such statements propagate a stereotype that the industry fights hard every day to overcome.