TORONTO -- Attacking a problem that plagues all dealerships, new-vehicle dealers in Ontario have launched a multipronged campaign to get more high school and college students to consider careers in auto retailing.
Their latest effort: a website that combines the dealers' inventory listings with job listings.
The site went live Feb. 12, just before the public days at the Canadian International AutoShow here. The show is organized by the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association, which takes its name from the province's official flower.
Every page of vehicle listings includes some of the roughly 460 jobs that also are posted on the TADA.ca site.
In addition, the association has:
- Reached out to parents of high school and college students, as well as guidance counselors and college career teachers.
- Encouraged its members to speak to school groups and provided supporting materials, including a pop-up stand and a video showing younger dealership employees talking about their careers.
- Set up a booth at the Toronto auto show to talk jobs with some of the show's more than 300,000 attendees.
- Brought hundreds of high school students to the auto show over three days for a talk about the industry before they were set free to ogle the hot rides. One speaker: Samantha Tan, a teenage rookie race car driver.
The association can't fill every open position that its members have, conceded Todd Bourgon, executive director. But, he said, "We can be a cog in the wheel that can help to solve this problem."
The association's 1,100 dealers generate $27 billion in annual retail sales, accounting for 40 percent of Canada's annual new-vehicle sales.
They employ more than 47,000 people and are constantly looking for new hires.