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  Guest Editorial

Keep Educating Yourself and Staff

Posted 4/17/2006
By Bill Haas, AAM

Learn about ASA's exciting new training and education initiative coming to a city near you.

I have had the distinct honor and pleasure of being involved in two of the Automotive Service Association's (ASA) strategic plans. The first time was as a shop owner and member of the Mechanical Division Operations Committee in 1996. The next time was in 2001, as a member of the association staff. You might wonder about the value of a strategic plan, but from my experience, execution of a strategic plan is critical to achieving the goals of any business. As a result of the association's dedication to strategic thinking, I have been challenged with the responsibility for education and training. Today, shop owners and their employees are constantly challenged to succeed in an ever-changing business environment and to stay current with the advancements of automotive technology. In pursuit of fulfilling the ASA vision statement, I am excited to introduce the Keep Educating Yourself and Staff (KEYS) education and training initiative. The delivery of management education and technical training through the KEYS program will afford automotive professionals more opportunities to further their education. KEYS will offer automotive professionals solutions to the many challenges they face each day.

Through an ongoing series of regional training events, the KEYS program will offer today's repair professionals a package of education and training for the entire business to embrace. The KEYS regional training events are scheduled over a weekend. The weekend format will start with an AMI-approved management seminar on Friday afternoon and continue with management and technical sessions presented all day Saturday and Sunday morning. Four KEYS events are already planned with more to come. (Please see story on page 12 for more details.)

The KEYS initiative will support our industry beyond the obvious benefits of improved business management and acquiring new technical skills and knowledge. In addition, the KEYS program will serve as the catalyst to establish an ASA scholarship program. Funded by the KEYS education events, the Keep Educating Youth (KEY) scholarship program will assist tomorrow's technicians with their education. Students enrolled in automotive service or collision technology programs will be eligible to apply for a KEY scholarship after working as an intern in an ASA member shop. Currently, the KEY scholarship program is under development. Watch for the official announcement in a future issue of AutoInc.

Please be sure to check the ASA Web site, www.asashop.org, for dates and locations of the KEYS events. I hope one will be close to you. If not, let me know where we need to be and I will try to make it happen. Our goal is to bring automotive professionals the KEYS to their future.

Bill Haas Bill Haas, AAM, is vice president of education and training at ASA. He can be reached at billh@asashop.org.or at (800) 272-7467, ext. 222.

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