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Education in spotlight at 2017 Canadian International AutoShow

Various initiatives at the show are aimed at students who are seeking career opportunities in the retail auto sector.

  • Tstar 2016 auto show

Yesterday marked the official opening of the 2017 Canadian International AutoShow in Toronto, presented by the Toronto Star and Wheels.ca, at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. The auto show runs until Feb. 26.

Each year, the Trillium Automobile Dealers Association showcases its various education initiatives at the auto show, which is aimed at students who are seeking career opportunities in the retail auto sector and those who are considering a career change.

This year, in addition to the promotion of its Career Start education program and CarsAndJobs.com website, the TADA is putting a strong focus on the practical steps involved in turning your education (automotive or otherwise) into a lifelong career in the industry.

The TADA’s main exhibit features a Career Corner, staffed by college representatives and students to give a firsthand look into what their automotive programs look like, as well as the services available at each school to assist students and grads in their progression from education to career (i.e., co-op placements, apprenticeships, industry partnerships).

Participating schools include Centennial College, Conestoga College, and Georgian College’s Automotive Business School of Canada.

On Wednesday, Feb. 22, the TADA will host its first ever Career Day at the auto show, featuring a number of free services for post-secondary students and graduates who are actively seeking meaningful careers in the automotive industry.

Among these free services are CV and cover letter review and critique by career services professionals and HR reps from the industry, and the opportunity to have a professional headshot taken for LinkedIn accounts. These services can be accessed by visiting the CarsAndJobs.com booth on the 700 Level of the South Building on the 22nd only.

A returning TADA education initiative at the auto show is the Women in Automotive panel that will be attended by female secondary students from the GTA and presented in association with Centennial College’s Girls Mentoring Program. The Women in Automotive panel will take place on Friday, Feb. 24.

Once again, the TADA is displaying the winning vehicle from The University of Waterloo’s 2016 Electric Vehicle Challenge Race. Our association continues to be a proud sponsor of this unique challenge, which is growing year to year. This year’s winning vehicle was designed and built by secondary students at Bluevale Collegiate Institute in Waterloo.

With the EV Challenge Race, participating students learn and develop skills in communication, organization, networking, selling, marketing, design, and teamwork.

The TADA is also a sponsor of the annual Toronto Automotive Technology Competition, where Toronto and area high school students compete to perform a series of timed technical tasks. The winning team is announced on Media Day and receives the Gerd Reisenecker Toronto Automotive Technology Competition Award.

One of the biggest challenges facing dealers today is the need to recruit skilled workers in all facets of our business, including sales consultants and managers, service advisers, marketing experts and automotive/collision repair technicians.

Education requirements for careers in the retail auto industry have changed significantly in the past two decades. Most positions available at dealerships today are highly specialized and require years of post-secondary schooling and training.

Visiting the TADA exhibit at the auto show will provide visitors with a unique window into the world of training and opportunities that exist within the retail automobile industry. I would urge parents and students to check out the TADA’s education exhibit and other career resources on display.

If you are a student evaluating your career options (or are looking for a career change), visit the CarsAndJobs.com website and view the information that’s available. Talk to teachers and professors at post-secondary schools that offer automotive-based programs.

For more information about the 2017 Canadian International AutoShow and to buy tickets online, visit www.autoshow.ca.

Enjoy the show!

Career

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