August 30, 2012
UPDATE: Pushback from reader Dan Dressel:
I work directly with auto part stores and repair shops, and all I can say is don’t believe the hype. A lot of shops have closed the last two years due to the recovery, and there are a lot of young, trained mechanics out there doing other things. As soon as a good job turning wrenches opens up (and they can’t go back on unemployment after working six months), they’ll leave whatever service position they have and get back under the hood.
In my position, I’m seeing a people who used to be in faddish professions following a trend (real estate, mortgage brokers, and yes, tattoo artists) who are coming back to turning wrenches after the other jobs/professions became less lucrative/glamorous, and they wanted good money and a steady path.
There are younger mechanics working out there, focused on specialty engines and mods to imports (VW and the Japanese manufacturers getting most of the attention), but they tend to become more generalized the older they get, and they are learning locally and not through the GM Tech Schools. This may be the point of the article – make it seem like a shortage is looming to try and boost attendance at the automotive vocational schools, especially the ones that advertise, like GM.