Veteran Workforce Supports Automotive Industry

Veteran Workforce Supports Automotive Industry

Who could deny the reputation stigma that continues to face the automotive industry? Today’s generation of dealer owner/operators are more educated and business savvy than those that preceded them. The bootstrapping days of securing and growing a dealer franchise has long gone the way to education, certification, fiduciary strength and better exchanges with consumers. Manufacturers have made the move toward improvement, by setting higher standards for dealerships and are looking toward the owner/operators to elevate the brand, through its marketing, advertising and personnel performance. Even with today’s generation of young tech savvy, educated recruits, the industry still faces some poor ratings from consumers. Dealer turnover can be as high as seventy percent. Dealers are faced with the high cost of recruitment, training, then sustaining those employees. Some of the problem dealers have expressed from the new hires in today’s workforce is that there is not as strong a work ethic with many of its entry level candidates. The industry could be facing “a chicken or the egg” syndrome, where we don’t know if dealers have stopped investing in their personnel training because of their fear of the high turnover, or if the turnover comes from not having the necessary training and support to remain motivated in what is recognized by many as a highly lucrative career path.

Veterans already represent approximately one in five employees in the automotive industry workforce. Initially focused on the mechanics or service side of the business, today the door is open for sales, finance and insurance, and fixed operations. The key is to find a program that trains and get you opportunities in the workplace. One such organisation is the Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management. Founded by a three decade long automotive influencer, Richie Bello, the organisation set out to bring both worlds together by offering the veteran and the dealer what will become a win, win for both. The veteran gets a fully complimentary program, with no cost out of pocket for certification, but add to that a placement service for all who have passed at eighty percent or higher. Bello, who has been a trainer in this sector for over three decades, looked at the statistics of veterans in the workplace and the high cost of dealer turnover and began offering dealers fully certified recruits into the dealerships in the areas of need. His online course has been training men and women in the automotive industry on those areas beyond the manufacturer product knowledge. The veteran receives training on everything from the greeting to the on-going relationship and how to follow up and build repeat customers.

The Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management is focusing on markets where the online certification can be backed by facilities in each market for on-going workshop support. “It is clear to all of us who have had to hire and train, that without continuity of training and sometimes one on one coaching, the candidate gets lost”. said Bello. The veteran is a more disciplined employee with proven loyalty that is familiar with a team approach and constant training, so that when the call is there, they are ready and able. With the institute’s program, the vet gets the training fully complimentary. The only cost to the veteran is his or her commitment to learn and earn.

Other areas of support can be found at various state or county’s Department of Labor where some have budgets that grant financial assistance to those organisations that will provide approved training and certification. The goal is to help reduce unemployment in their respective markets. The Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management has done its homework and relationship building with government organisations and thousands of dealerships across the country to begin training and placing veterans in dealership sales, service, fixed operations and finance and insurance. The institute has career nights open to veterans and the public, where the veteran’s complimentary program is outlined, as well as the dealer sponsored programs for anyone who wants to come into the industry. Minimum criteria are required for both veteran and public enrollment. All programs are complimentary to qualified veterans. For more information go to or join a career night this April 22, 2020 on Long Island at the Beach Club Estate in Ronkonkoma.

Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management is a 501C3 not for profit, with its focus on automotive education. Its current recruitment effort is national; however, New York Metro, Georgia, Florida, California and Arizona are the initial markets being marketed. The Richie Bello Institute of Leadership and Management is an online certification and workshop program with training facilities in New York and Arizona. For more information go to

© Jeanne Fontana



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