Auto dealers are taking an aggressive approach to attract talented young workers.
Dealership employment increased 8 percent from 2000 to 2004, according to the National Automobile Dealers Association. And successful dealerships can make a difference for automakers in highly competitive North America.
"You need more high-skilled, highly educated people in today's dealership," says Joe Lescota, chairman of automotive marketing at Northwood University in Midland, Mich. "There's very little room for error."
Lescota says dealerships, which NADA estimates employ 1.13 million workers, must sell themselves to the public just like the military markets itself to potential recruits. He wants to promote positive elements of automotive careers, such as the potentially lucrative salaries of salespeople.
And dealers are opening their doors to educate the public and stir interest in working in the field. More than 700 dealerships participated in NADA's career week last October that drew students from local schools. The events illustrated job possibilities in sales, service and finance.