Dateline: NH, January 2017

Where are the Techs? A Service Director’s Perspective

Rick Gauthier, Banks Chevrolet-Cadillac-Buick-GMC, NHAEF Director

Rick Gauthier
Rick Gauthier

For years we have struggled with finding quality technicians who are willing and able to keep pace with the technology. The workforce development program, a NH Job Training Grant that allows NHADA members to send their entry-level employees to college auto tech courses for half-price, plays a vital role in our “player development” strategy.

We are able to provide structured training to existing employees who have already proven themselves to have a good work ethic. The employee is still able to work full time to support him/herself, and learn skills that would otherwise be unavailable to help them develop a career.

We have trained entry level employees aspiring to become certified technicians, we had a female service advisor attend the “Intro to Automotive Repair” course so she could enhance her technical understanding, and an experienced technician who had always struggled with electrical take the “Advanced Electronics” at Lakes Region Community College. All of our employees who have attended the training have benefited tremendously. I have found in many cases that helping an employee develop career skills creates a degree of loyalty from that individual, which otherwise might not exist.

The path from entry level to experienced is long, and takes patience and sacrifice from both the employer and employee. Not every investment will be a success story, and selecting the right individuals to commit the time and adapt their schedule to coincide with being at school on time is challenging, but the long-term return on investment far outweighs the alternative to doing nothing.

The Spring 2017 courses take place evenings at Manchester Community College and Lakes Region Community College. Classes begin the week of January 17, so don’t delay.

If you answer “Yes” to these three questions, then contact NHADA for the solution to your problem

  1. Are you short a technician or two right now or will you have an open technician position in the next few years?
  2. Do you have a current employee or know someone that has the right attitude and potential to become at least a C level tech? (It could be your detailer, your lot attendant, your lube tech, etc.)
  3. If I told you that NHADA has money to give to you to train that person to be your technician, and that we have training classes lined up, would you be interested in hearing more?

Go to and select Education Solutions and Auto Tech Courses to learn more and download registration forms. If you have questions regarding the grant, email Jean Conlon at