Omaha Feels Pain of National Mechanic Shortage
Labor Department predicts it's only going to get worse
Kids used to grow up tinkering with cars. Today they keep busy with computers and video games. That, combined with a large number of retiring mechanics is leaving a large gap. Video by kmtv.comvideo
Omaha, NE - Kids used to grow up tinkering with cars. Today they keep busy with computers and video games. That, combined with a large number of retiring mechanics is leaving a large gap.
The nation's demand for auto mechanics is expected to have grown about 17% from 2010 to 2020, adding 124,800 jobs for a total of 848,200, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reports. Metro Community College instructor Al Cox says they're trying to add classes at night to pull in students. Many students enrolled in his night class have either their tuition or loans paid for by dealerships or shops that have already hired them.
The challenge remains keeping them interested in cars. Students need to maintain an education that includes a background in technology and computers. Many students, Cox says, will switch majors to something they think will have the same earning potential but includes additional perks over working in a garage.
"What we saw a lot of students in that missing age range," Cox said, "[They'd say] well why should I spend thousands of dollars when I can work on cars, when computer programming? It's a lot easier. It's nicer. Its cleaner."