WARRENDALE, Pa.—You may need to be a speed reader to see the message, but recruiting tomorrow's technicians is the focus of an alliance the Service Technicians Society (STS) has formed with J&B Motorsports Inc. and Bobby Martin, driver of the CAP Avenger Funny Car.
"Attracting students with the technological skills needed to survive in this profession has been a challenge for the automotive industry and one that must be addressed," said Wayne Juchno, managing director of STS, in describing the primary goal behind the new partnership. It brings the tech shortage issue to the public through motorsports—one of the nation's fastest growing spectator events.
J&B Motorsports and Mr. Martin compete in the NHRA Drag Racing Federal-Mogul Alcohol Funny Car Series. The team raced its new car at the MAC Tools Gator Nationals in March, where Mr. Martin qualified eighth in the first round of eliminations with a 5.82-second run at 245 mph.
The side panels of the car are emblazoned with the slogan, "Training Tomorrow's Technicians."
"That's what made this partnership so attractive to STS," Mr. Juchno said. "It helps us fulfill our mission and presents this profession to the public in a high-tech, exciting environment."
Off the track, the STS said the team is committed to educating students on career opportunities in the automotive service and repair industry. Mr. Martin is a frequent speaker for the DaimlerChrysler Dealer Apprenticeship Program and is active in the NHRA Youth and Education Services Program, which develops track site and classroom programs for students from kindergarten through college.
Barbara McGaffic, president of J&B Motorsports, said the team was excited to welcome STS as a new sponsor, adding: "We're building a strong team on and off the track to bring attention to the critical issue of technician recruitment."
An affiliate of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE International), the STS was established in 1996 and currently has more than 6,500 members in 50 states and 24 foreign countries. The group provides a forum for technical information exchange, skill development and networking with other technicians, shop owners and industry representatives in all mobility service industries.