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Exhibit focuses on automotive education

A recent article from Fender Bender focused on two aspects of the automotive service industry all service centers should be focused on: Educating future technicians and breaking down gender lines.

The article in question concerned a traveling exhibit titled "Broken; Fix it" that is planned to visit children's museums across the country in order to encourage more interest in automotive education. The exhibit in question was created by Audra Fordin, owner of Great Bear Auto Repair and Auto Body Shop in Flushing, N.Y., as well as the founder of Women Auto Know, and the Long Island Children's Museum.

"The disconnect in the automotive industry starts at a young age," Fordin said. "By educating our children early in their lives that they can do anything, regardless of gender, they will be more apt to take care of themselves as second nature, without the stigma of outside stereotypes holding them back. This is a win-win-win for the future drivers of America, the automotive industry as a whole, and for generations of children who will be caring for us later in life."

What Fordin is trying to do directly affects all members of the automotive service industry, from independent repair facilities to big dealerships.

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that the demand for automotive technicians is expected to increase 17 percent by 2020. However, a lack of interest in the industry from young people could result in a major lack of available employees. Teaching children about the importance of automotive repair, as well as encouraging interest in the field, is a great step in the right direction.

Additionally, the goal of trying to increase interest in the industry among both males and females is exactly the type of initiative professional service centers should be supporting. Not only can this type of thinking increase the number of female automotive technicians, it can dispel long-standing myths regarding repair facilities being a boy's club.