Chapel Hill Tire Finds Partner in Hunt for Young Techs

April 22, 2024

“We have a shortage of skilled workers and it’s not just in the tire industry,” says Terry Govoreau, human resources director for Chapel Hill Tire, an 11-location dealership based in Chapel Hill, N.C. “It’s across the board.”  

This is why Chapel Hill Tire has partnered with the North Carolina Triangle Apprenticeship Program (NCTAP), an initiative designed to help the next generation of auto service workers get into the industry.  

The program provides up to four years of academic and hands-on training.  

Many benefits 

“The young generation (is) into computers and gaming,” says Govoreau. “Their parents want them to go to a traditional four-year school. And (programs that teach) skilled trades are not advertised like they used to be.”  

Govoreau says Chapel Hill Tire’s partnership with NCTAP addresses all of these problems.  

“A traditional college education isn’t for everyone after they graduate,” says Govoreau. 

“NCTAP helps give students a different education path. And it helps (their) parents feel better because their kids are still getting an education” through the organization. 

Even though Chapel Hill Tire’s partnership with NCTAP is new, the dealership has been actively trying to get young people into the tire and auto repair industries for years. 

“Personally, I would go around and visit local high schools and talk to students,” says Govoreau. 

“I would go to career fairs and tell them about the automotive business. I would also try and get them to realize the opportunity and potential in this business for someone who doesn’t want a traditional” college education. 

“But there’s only so much one person can do,” he says. 

Work/School hybrid

The apprenticeship program — which is more hands-off for Chapel Hill Tire thanks to the involvement of NCTAP — is a work and school hybrid program.  

Participants will combine school work with hands-on work for a 40-hour week. 

They start as general service technicians, learning the basics like balancing, rotating and repairing tires and checking various filters. All training is done under a master technician’s supervision. 

“If students have class eight hours per week, they will work at one of Chapel Hill Tire’s locations 32 hours per week,” explains Govoreau.  

Participants get paid for a 40-hour work week and are classified as full-time Chapel Hill Tire employees, so they also enjoy full benefits. 

“Our main goal is to support young people, support this industry and support skilled trades.” 

About the Author

Madison Gehring | Associate Editor

Madison Gehring is Modern Tire Dealer's associate editor. A graduate of Ohio State University, Gehring holds a bachelors degree in journalism. During her time at Ohio State, she wrote for the university's student-run newspaper, The Lantern, and interned at CityScene Media Group in Columbus, Ohio.