The Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Show will host its first student career day for about 600 high school and college students on Oct. 31, 2016, the day before the 2016 show opens.
In support of SEMA's career paths initiative, the show will host the students and introduce them to companies and career opportunities that are available. The career day will be held from 1-3 p.m.
It's technically not a job fair — though students may arrive with resumes in hand — but SEMA says it's an opportunity to pique the interest of bright, talented young people and for exhibitors to begin relationships that may lead students to begin their careers in the aftermarket industry with their companies.
It's also an answer to a problem identified in a recent SEMA Industry Employment Perspective Study, which found that 95% of companies in the automotive aftermarket industry will need to hire new employees with specific skills in the next five years. The No. 1 problem, according to the study, is that companies don’t know where to look for the highly skilled employees they will need in the future.
“We’re always looking for new talent,” says Albert Lucero, talent acquisition manager for Transamerican Auto Parts. “It was just too good of an opportunity to pass up, if we can put our footprint out there with the youth and let them know what we’re all about.”
The event’s goal is to introduce high school and college students to the diversity of careers available to them in the aftermarket industry. SEMA Show exhibitors can still sign up to participate.
“Maybe there’s an accounting major out there who has a passion for cars,” says Chris Douglas, vice president of marketing for the COMP Performance Group and a SEMA Board member. “We might be able to show them that there’s a pathway for them in this industry.”
“We’re all companies that sell products,” says Douglas, “but they’re run by people with talent. Without the talent, your company will eventually stall out and be bypassed by the companies that do have the talent.”
Each participating exhibitor will be assigned a table with their company name, logo, industry segment, and primary business function. Exhibitors are asked to have company representatives staff the table, interact with the student attendees and tell them about what they do and what kinds of careers could be available to them.
For more information or to register to participate, contact SEMA’s Senior Director of Education Zane Clark at ZaneC@sema.org.