First the Tire Association of North America came out with a program for training passenger and light truck tire technicians. Now the International Tire and Rubber Association has announced it will offer similar training, which will involve hands-on instruction and certification.
It would be easy to criticize these two organizations for not working together in developing such training.
Many in the industry would like to see the two groups cooperate and training seems to be a natural place to start.
The fact that both have gone their separate ways in establishing training programs, however, is not the issue.
Rather, both have taken aggressive steps to address an industrywide problem—the lack of an educated workforce and the dearth of qualified prospective employees.
The leaders of these organizations are giving tire dealers the option of accessing two training programs that could very well complement each other.
TANA's efforts through the Internet bring training to every tire service employee who has access to a computer.
ITRA's program will take advantage of the many junior colleges, trade schools and high schools nationwide offering automotive-related service training. The association aims to establish a tire service curriculum at those schools, bringing hands-on training to local communities.
The fact is, the need for training is so great that these two programs will never reach every tire service worker. Nor will they be redundant.
Still, having training available is one thing. Making sure it is used is another.
The ITRA and TANA are leading the way in making training available. Now tire dealers must do their part by getting employees involved.
Surveys show finding, training and keeping qualified employees is the tire dealer's No. 1 problem.
TANA and ITRA are providing a solution.