ASE on Industry Relations
Q What do you do and how does it impact the collision repair industry?
As Senior VP of Industry Relations, my job and that of the staff is to work with all segments of the collision repair industry to increase awareness of the benefits of ASE collision repair technician certification and why that helps shops and their customers.
Q ASE certification is a standard that many body shops maintain. What challenges does ASE face in reaching automotive repair professionals who aren’t certified?
Time and resources are a few of our challenges in reaching service professionals that aren’t certified yet. [A representative of] ASE attends over 30 meetings and events a year to try and get the word out. We rely on the industry itself to help us educate our industry. The ASE Web site offers both the consumer and the professional information about ASE and the certification program. It’s at www.ase.com.
Q Is there something that people outside the industry might be surprised to learn about automotive repairers?
I am always amazed that car owners don’t realize how much technicians need to know to repair vehicles today. The level of complexity and sophistication in the repair process is lost on consumers. They treat their car like a toaster.
Q How would you describe ASE’s position on shop- or technician-licensing regulations, as have been proposed in several states?
As you know, ASE was created to avoid governmental legislation within our industry. We do not hold a position on the subject of licensing. ASE certification is built into some existing licensing programs currently and can provide a benchmark for others looking at the process. We are happy to discuss how ASE fits into a licensing program with any agency or association.
Q The ASE recently marked its 35th anniversary. What’s in store for the immediate and long-term futures of the organization?
ASE is very excited about the future. We are looking at new products and programs to offer the service repair industry. We are looking at new ways to offer the ASE certification exams and broadening our base. We plan to continue our efforts to become more user friendly to employers and their service pros.
Q What’s it like to be a female in a male-dominated industry? Have you ever been in a professional situation where you thought, ‘This would be different if I were a man doing this job’?
I have had an extraordinary time being a woman in this industry. While my experience might be the exception, I have found it to be welcoming and a great opportunity. I have had male mentors assist me in my career. I believe this is an industry in which women can excel, not only in the technical occupations but also in the wealth of careers that are available. Acceptance of women in our industry is growing and will continue to do so. As more women become visible in our industry — role models, if you will — I think more women will be open to entering the industry. What a great place to work!
Q Is there a message you’d like to share with our readers?
One thing I would like to remind the industry is that ASE was created by the industry for the industry. We exist because there is a need for standards, certification and recognition of our service professionals. The more the industry gets involved with and supports ASE, the better the image of our industry is in the mind of the consumer. Take advantage of us, we are here for you!