RR 312: NASTF – The Road To Great Technicians

The National Automotive Service Task Force, NASTF, is a cooperative effort among the automotive service industry, the equipment and tool industry and automotive manufacturers. 

There is no cost to participate in NASTF. If you are a professional auto service technician, shop owner, OEM service employee or any other automotive industry professional supporting the mission of NASTF, please enroll here on our website. Click HERE to Join NASTF.

Mission & Vision

Mission: The National Automotive Service Task Force will facilitate the identification and correction of gaps in the availability and accessibility of automotive service information, training, diagnostic tools and equipment, and communications to automotive service professionals.

Vision: Driving a professional, well-resourced vehicle service industry by uniting competent and diverse teams to solve industry-wide problems and effectively communicate solutions.

The panel:

  • Chris Chesney is the Senior Director of Customer Training, CARQUEST Technical Institute and a NASTF board member and a member of the ‘Road To Great Technician’ project.  Listen to Chris’s previous episodes HERE.
  • Donny Seyfer is the Executive Officer of NASTF. Listen to Donny’s previous episodes HERE.
  • Jill Saunders is Curriculum Developer, Toyota Motor Sales, North America and a member of the ‘Road To Great Technicians’ project.

Link to the Road To Great Technicians project HERE.

Talking Points:

  • A stake in the ground to move this project ahead. The project is in the ‘Stop Talking – Start Doing’.
  • Milestone for the industry in 2018:
    • Mission and Vision for the program has been created.
    • To framework a career path for the technician.
    • They are excited to share the program and get the entire industry involved.
    • NASTF attended a Tech Force Meeting recently in Phoenix, AZ in early 2018.
  • PIPS: Parents and Influencers of Peripheral Student
  • Once the student gets out of school there is no plan for a career path. That is the focus of this program.
    • Mentor them and apprentice these students into the industry/shop.
    • Create a framework of education.
    • The college’s and OE can hang their curriculums on this program.
  • Our current in-service technicians will come later. They want to start with new graduates of automotive technology courses either at secondary or post-secondary level.
  • Key to the entire program is mentorship. Mentoring is a core skill and needs to be taught, learned and fostered year after year. Mentoring may not be a perfect match for the oldest or most senior person in the shop. The person selected must know how and want to be a mentor.
    • There will be a program for Mentor and Mentee through SP2.org with ASE.
  • The Road To Great Technicians is about lifelong learning all the way through your career.
  • You can’t buy a master technician anymore. You need to build your own.
  • Standards will be developed.
  • Donny feels that the ASE will be a pre-cursor to your practical exam.
  • It is the job of the industry to set the standards.
  • Mark Saxonberg, “Regardless of where you work, you need to be at the same skill set.”
  • The consumer expects a certain skill level and because they don’t receive it consistently, we have a poor reputation.
  • As consolidation persists, the bigger corporations are process driven and career paths and requirements of skill will be necessary.
  • Like the FAA process: The competency exam will be a two-part practicum. A verbal/oral and a practical exam; to show you can accomplish the skills to a standard.
    • Chris Chesney feels that the oral exam will solve most of what we see today as a problem. For example, many techs could not explain a voltage drop.
  • The way it works, as Donny Seyfer says, “It will be an extinction event.”
  • Shop owners are business people and you need to make a business decision to get on board with this next level of career pathing and standards.
  • Toyota has different entry points for technicians.
  • Technician standards and requirements can be entered in a consolidated database.
  • Chris is going to be an evangelist for this message.
    • The Chicken and the Pig Analogy. The Pig is committed, and the Chicken is involved.
    • Independent shop owners must pay attention to this movement because the larger groups who will develop career pathing will take the talent. You need to play in this sandbox.
    • Everyone must work toward these standards. If not the government will step in. We can monitor ourselves.
    • You cannot grow your own technician; just in time (when you need one). You’ve got to develop new young talent with the thoughts that they may leave you someday.

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This episode is brought to you by Federal-MogulMotorparts and Garage Gurus. With brands like Moog, Felpro, Wagner Brake, Champion, Sealed Power, FP Diesel and more, they’re the parts techs trust.  For serious technical training and support – online, onsite and on-demand – Garage Gurus is everything you need to know. Find out more at fmmotorparts.com  and fmgaragegurus.com


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About the author, Carm Capriotto, AAP

Carm is the founder and host of the Remarkable Results Radio Podcast; the only one of its type in the automotive aftermarket. Carm calls on his 35 years’ experience in the aftermarket to bring engaging stories from his guests.

Listen to raw, unfiltered, honest, and sincere stories that include insights, trends, best practices and expertise. Each interview brings an opportunity to learn one new thing through the stories of personal achievement. Many podcast guests tell their story of transformation from working in their business to working on it.

As host, Carm uses his enthusiasm and passion for the aftermarket especially the service sector to take his listeners on a journey showcasing successful service professionals’ path to Remarkable Results. He also enjoys interviews with aftermarket industry thought leaders who bring their industry perspectives to his listener.