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Carm Capriotto: Seeding Our Future Technicians is Your Responsibility

Seeding Our Future Technicians is Your Responsibility.

I keep hearing about that greatest challenge in the aftermarket, a technician shortage. Recently instead of listening to the ‘woe is me’ story, I asked, ‘How are we going to fix it?’ and no surprise, there were great answers to this question.

The top solutions to the tech shortage are not new, but they will require action and if we do nothing to close the gap we have no one to blame but ourselves. We are hurting on a few different fronts mainly with the lack of young people enrolling in automotive CTE programs (Career and Technical Education) at both high-school and college levels, and the poaching of our technicians from other industries that are also desperately in need of technicians, including: diesel, fleet, government, and fork lift among others.

The fix is not an easy task and will require a level of volunteerism like we have never seen before in our industry. If you have ever searched for a technician, and you do not want to be in that position again, then let that feeling drive your decision to change.

Shop owners must understand that their future and the future of our industry is to involve our young people into appreciating the automotive world. There is a lot of momentum that makes the automotive world attractive today. Simply put, we are driving a computer-controlled machine that is connected to the world which can be an attractive talking point to young people who want to work with their hands and computers.

So, is it enough to tell the kids, “Hey would you like to work on high tech computer-controlled cars?” Maybe not. Who we need to tell are their parents. That does not mean that we stop talking to the kids and hope that they tell their parents, instead we need to talk to our middle school parents, counselors, principals and superintendents. We do this by volunteering for advisory committees, speaking at career days, talking to the rotary clubs, chambers and the many other local volunteer service groups in your community. If we do not sell/recruit our industry at the middle school and parental level, we miss our chance when career paths start to form.

Do not wait for an invite, walk into a high school and ask about their automotive program and ask to be involved; same for college (post-secondary). Most need advisory board members, especially independents to get involved. They need your support to help grow their program and engage their students.

We have a vibrant auto care industry with 535,508 registered business, and 278 million registered motor vehicles. The auto care industry reached $368 billon in 2016 and it is projected that vehicles in operation will increase by 10.4% by 2021. The auto care industry employs 4.6 million professionals. Speaking of vibrant and opportunistic.

Here are some important elements of your contribution that goes beyond the schooling if we are to fix our tech shortage.

  • Start holding Automotive STEM classes for middle schoolers in your shop. They will be so impressed to learn about the “rolling computer”.

  • Create a summer boot camp for students who want to learn about the automotive industry.

  • Get involved with high school and post-secondary education. You can join an advisory board and simply ask what they need and then set out to help fulfill those needs.

  • Develop a comprehensive apprentice program - they are available with government help.

  • Improve the integration of our young people into the industry.

     

For much of our image and career pathing problems we need to look internally, maybe even research why entry technicians left the industry. Check your business culture, work environment, commitment to training, pay and benefits, tooling, image, marketing, etc. There is a ground swell from independent shop owners that are making improvements to their businesses in the form of margin and labor rate improvements and managing their key performance numbers. They realize that a stronger bottom line and improved business culture will help negate the technician shortage because they can retain and recruit talent from a stronger position.

If we get involved and talk up our exciting trade the message will start to be discussed at the dinner table. Let us be proud of the industry we earn our living with, where technology is ruling every new advancement and will require talented, computer ‘nerds’ to repair today and tomorrows future transportation needs. Welcome the parents, kids and teachers to your place and share the future.

 

Carm Capriotto, AAP
716-523-4915
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JASPER® Earns ESOP Company of the Year Honors for 2018

 

Jasper Engines & Transmissions has been named ESOP Company of the Year for 2018 by The ESOP Association, Indiana Chapter.  The announcement was made February 27th at an Association conference in Carmel, Indiana.

 

“We are truly honored to receive this award,” said Doug Bawel, JASPER Chairman/CEO.  “We have 2,900 Associate-Owners who are very proud of their 75-year company, and this recognition is all about them.”

 

The ESOP Association is the largest employer-sponsored advocacy and education association in the United States.  The Association focuses on employee stock ownership plans (ESOP). Founded in 1978, the Association seeks to enhance federal laws governing ESOPs, provide members with expert information, and fund research via the Employee Ownership Foundation.

 

The ESOP Association is a national non-profit organization with 18 local Chapters, including Indiana.  Its members include ESOP companies, companies considering an ESOP, and service providers that assist in setting up and maintaining ESOPs.

 

JASPER has seen immense growth since the inception of the ESOP in 2009. In 2010 the company had grown to approximately $280 million in revenue, and approximately 1,800 Associates nationwide.  In the last six years, JASPER conducted strategic acquisitions within the automotive industry that  allowed the company to grow and prosper.  JASPER also expanded its remanufacturing facilities in Jasper and Leavenworth, Indiana, as well as Willow Springs, Missouri. 

 

Today, JASPER has 2,900 full-time Associate-Owners, with revenue in excess of $608 million.  The company’s ESOP stock has grown in six years from $2.30/share to over $220/share at the end of 2016. 

 

“We will be announcing our current share price in April, and we are excited about our 2017 growth and success, which we feel will reflect in our stock price,” said Bawel.

JASPER's ESOP Committee Pictured Left to Right: Thom Ireland, Kate Schwenk, Audra Dilger, Josseline Carr, and John Wiggins.

 

 

JASPER® Offers Remanufactured Chrysler 3.6L Pentastar Engine

Jasper Engines & Transmissions is pleased to announce the addition of the Chrysler 3.6L Pentastar to its remanufactured gas engine line.

This engine is available for the following 2011-2016 applications:

Dodge                                              Chrysler                                            RAM

Caravan                                            Town & Country                             1500

Journey                                             300                                                  ProMaster

Challenger

Charger                                            Jeep

Avenger                                            Wrangler

               Grand Cherokee

“JASPER replaces the OE cast aluminum pistons with an upgraded aluminum piston  of our own design,” says Brad Boeglin, JASPER New Product Development Group Leader.  “The JASPER-engineered pistons have a smooth, fully machined, anodized crown, which provides a thermal barrier to reduce carbon buildup.”

“Our piston design includes 12 additional oil return holes for increased drainback, along with changing the oil rings from a three-piece to a two-piece “Diesel”style ring ,” said Boeglin.  “This reduces oil consumption and prevents the oil rings from sticking.”

“In addition, the JASPER-engineered piston has an additional oil accumulator groove that decreases the pressure between the first and second ring,” added Boeglin.  “This prevents the upper compression ring from unsealing at higher RPMs.”

“Finally, a graphite coating, and 28% more thrust bearing area, prevents dry startup and piston scuffing,” he added.

The JASPER remanufactured Chrysler 3.6L Pentastar is covered by a 3-Year/100,000-Mile nationwide, transferrable, parts and labor warranty.  Full warranty disclosure is available upon request.

For more information on the complete line of JASPER remanufactured gas engines, log onto jasperengines.com or call 1.800.827.7455.

 

JASPER Authentic Customer Sees 390 Big Block Dyno Test Session in Person

JASPER® customer, Tony Habermel of New Albany, Indiana, was able to watch his remanufactured Ford 390 Big Block on the dynamometer during a recent visit to Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrains.

A numbers-matching build, including a dyno-run, was part of the package Tony purchased for his 1969 Ford Torino GT Sport Roof.

“My Aunt & Uncle bought the car brand new in February of ’69,” said Tony.  “The car sat for nearly 20 years in my Aunt’s garage, on carpet and under a cover.”

“I bought the car from my Aunt, and moved it to my garage, where it sat because there wasn’t time for me  to do anything with it.”

“I had the whole body redone after a tree fell on my garage,” Tony added.  “The engine wasn’t running right, so I had the engine brought to JASPER.”

During Tony’s visit to JASPER, he toured the facility along with Dawn Byrne of Byrne’s Garage of New Albany.  They were both invited into the dyno room to watch Tony’s engine go through its paces.

“The experience with JASPER has been phenomenal,” Tony said.  “They are some of the nicest people I have ever dealt with.  They have been very helpful and knowledgeable.”

“It’s moments like these, that make my job an absolute pleasure,” said Darren Ragsdale, Jasper Authentic Custom Drivetrains & Performance Division Manager.  “It’s an honor to work with our customers, especially when they are passionate about their restoration projects.”

JETT Kicks Off Endowment Season for 2018

Jasper Endows Today & Tomorrow (JETT) held its annual kick-off meeting February 5th at the Jasper Engines & Transmissions Training Center.  Over 30 people were in attendance to hear a recap of 2017, and get an opportunity to hear from a guest speaker.  The night began with a review of the 8 grant recipients that received over $28,000 in 2017.  One of the recipients, Mentors For Youth, submitted a status report for the two matches that their grant had helped to initiate.  The membership also got to hear about the current JETT endowment total, $166,000, and what legacy that will leave on local communities.

 

The guest speaker was Jamie Levy, President and Chief Vision Officer of JD Levy & Associates.  Jamie is also a faculty member at Indiana University, where he teaches graduate and professional programs in not-for-profit management and development through the IU Center on Philanthropy, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, and the Fund Raising School.  His primary message a the meeting was 3-fold;

 

“Each organization must know its vision,” said JETT Facilitator, Mark Balsmeyer.  “Jamie’s example of the Rockefeller Rule explained that strategic planning (99%) doesn’t always align with the vision (1%).  Many organizations lose momentum this way.” 

 

“His second point of emphasis was, as a grant maker, not to be afraid to ask questions to non-profits,” said Balsmeyer. “They need to be asked ‘What does value look like’, and understand the difference between outputs and outcomes.”

 

“His last take away revolved around the 3 R’s (Relief, Rehabilitation, Restoration) and identifying what JETT’s footprint looks like from previous grant making,” he added.

 

The meeting concluded with a listing of opportunities for JETT members to get involved by use of time, and talent, in 2018.  It was also mentioned that JETT will host its 2nd Live/Silent Auction April 28th at The Schnitz Brewery & Pub.  “The inaugural 2016 event raised $13,000 that went towards supporting non-profit organizations,” said Balsmeyer.

 

JASPER® Acquires Greensboro Distributorship

Jasper Engines & Transmissions is proud to announce the acquisition of Jasper Engines & Transmissions of Greensboro, North Carolina.

Located at 4120 Beechwood Drive in Greensboro, this branch opened in 1986 as an independent distributorship, selling JASPER® quality remanufactured products to customers in North Carolina, and southern Virginia. 

“Our Greensboro customers can now take full advantage of several JASPER programs not afforded to them in the past,” said Zach Bawel, JASPER President.  “These include availability to Cooperative Advertising programs, our Preferred Installer programs, along with other Volume Discount programs and Corporate Tours that go with dealing directly with the factory.”

“In addition, the Greensboro branch Associates become owners of the company as part of JASPER’s Associate-Owned Employee Stock Ownership Plan (ESOP),” Bawel added.  “This territory will continue to get great customer support from our outside sales representatives, branch operations and delivery drivers.”

Jasper Engines & Transmissions currently has 45 branch offices and distribution centers in 28 states.

 

 

Commodore Manufacturing – 100% Student-Led/Operated Business

The Perry County Chamber of Commerce held a ribbon cutting on December 19 for the first local student-led manufacturing facility, Commodore Manufacturing. Commodore Manufacturing is 100% student-led and operated; the business plan was created by students in the business pathway and the HIRE Manufacturing students are responsible for the customer interactions, quality, production, marketing, payroll, and safety components of the business. JASPER Vice President of Logistics, Luke Bawel, spoke to the crowd, which included school officials/administration, local and state elected officials, Perry County business leaders, as well as representatives from Waupaca Foundry and JASPER.

 

JASPER® and Waupaca Foundry has partnered with Perry Central to design an educational pathway for manufacturing careers, providing real hands on experience which is accredited by the state to provide high school and college credits. Commodore Manufacturing has adopted JASPER's lean principals, including a Management Board which tracks trainings and orders. Commodore Manufacturing is currently a supplier for Jasper Innovative Solutions and Bawel shared that he foresees the student-led business partnering with other JASPER divisions in the future.

 

JASPER® Offers Expanded GM 6L80E Transmission Line

Jasper Engines & Transmissions has expanded the availability of its remanufactured GM 6L80E transmission line. 

Originally released in April 2011, this 6-speed transmission is available on exchange for the following 2014-2015 vehicles:

Chevrolet/GMC

  • 1500 
  • Suburban 
  • Tahoe 
  • Yukon 

The transmission control module (TCM) is physically contained inside this transmission. “The control modules are hydraulically and electronically tested on a stand-alone system, then tested again on a dynamometer using a state-of-the-art CAN software package controlling the vehicle,” says Brad Boeglin, JASPER Research and Development Group Leader. “JASPER offers free rental of DREW Technologies J2534 passthrough devices and now also offer shops the ability to rent the DREW Remote programming system (RAPS).” 

The JASPER 6L80E remanufactured transmission is subjected to strict, high-quality processes:

  • Disassembly, meticulous inspection and cleaning of components.
  • All new and remanufactured parts are carefully inspected for correct tolerances to 
  • assure dependability.
  • JASPER’s research and product development works to reduce inherent problems 
  • in OEM products.
  • Dynamometer testing of every domestic automatic transmission simulates in- 
  • vehicle operation to assure trouble-free product results.
  • Premium Service Plan offers customers an even greater value. 

The 6L80E is covered by a 3-Year/100,000-Mile nationwide, transferable, parts and labor warranty. Full warranty disclosure is available on our website, or upon request. 

For more information on the remanufactured products of Jasper Engines & Transmissions, contact us at 800-827-7455 or visit www.jasperengines.com.​

JASPER® Announces Calendar Winners for 2018

Thank you! Our customers come through each year for the annual Jasper Engines & Transmissions calendar, and this year was no exception! We had lots of great entries for the 2018 edition. Entries received this year were judged on adherence to the category, equipment appearance and the quality of the photograph or image.

Entrants whose work appears in the calendar receive a $100 gift certificate, which can be used to purchase JASPER remanufactured products or wearable items, 30 complimentary calendars and a special JASPER Gift Package.

Congratulations to all our Winners!

  1. Ron and Jill Pair - Dawsonville, Georgia - 1941 Cadillac Series 62 - Convertible
  2. David Rudolph - Rio Vista, California - 1950 GMC Pickup
  3. Terri Blackburn - Durham, North Carolina - 1967 Chevy Camaro (Custom)
  4. Chris Rhinehart - Frederick, Maryland - 1972 Chevy Nova SS
  5. Louis Clements - Ararat, Virginia - 1940 Ford Coupe
  6. David Graff - North Las Vegas, Nevada - 1969 Ford Mustang Mach I
  7. Bob & Greg Drennan - Sonora, California - 1963 Ford Galaxie 500 XL
  8. Chris & Sharon Whitlow - Coloma, Michigan - 1956 Ford Thunderbird
  9. Edward Gath - Springville, New York - 1962 International - Harvester Metro Van
  10. Herb & Marilyn Polson - St. Petersburg, Florida - 1967 Chevy Corvette Coupe
  11. William Shollenberger - Bethlehem, Pennsylvania - 1945 Dodge WC51
  12. Peachtree City Fire Department - Peachtree City, Georgia - 1949 Chevrolet Fire Engine
  13. Rob Byers - JR Brothers Ministries - Kyle, Texas - 1981 Jeep CJ7

JASPER® Names Hulsman Advertising Division Manager

Jasper Engines and Transmissions is pleased to announce the following change to its Advertising Division staff. Jason Hulsman has been named Advertising Division Manager.  Jason is a 17 year JASPER Associate-Owner.  He began his JASPER career on January 10th, 2000, and initially worked in Customer Communications as a Tour Guide.  Jason then spent eight years with the Inside Sales Department, before joining the Advertising Division, where he has spent the last nine years. 
 

Jason is responsible for developing and implementing marketing strategies for new, and existing products through brand, product and channel marketing, keeping these activities in alignment with JASPER’s corporate goals.

 

“My job is to ensure the marketplace understands who we are, the features and benefits our products carry, and the high-level of quality and service our Associate-Owners provide,” he said.
 

“As an Associate-Owner, I’m extremely proud of our company’s achievements and the growth we’ve seen over the years,” Hulsman said.  “It’s proof that we, as a company, are doing the right things. I’m excited to lead the department that I’ve been a part of for so many years.”
 

Hulsman succeeds Mike Pfau, who has been with the Advertising Division since he started his JASPER career on May 16th, 1977.  Mike was named the Division Manager in 1987.  He will remain with the division until his retirement in January of 2018.   
 

“We thank Mike for his 40+ years helping to make Jasper Engines & Transmission the Brand of Choice for our Customers,” said Zach Bawel, JASPER President.  “During Mike’s time leading our Advertising division, JASPER went from a Midwest regional company to the nationwide company we are today.”
 

Bawel added, “We look forward to Jason’s leadership as we continue to grow our Jasper Engines & Transmissions brand, along with growing our ESOP (Employee Stock Ownership Plan) for all the Associate-Owners.”

 

 

Jason Hulsman succeeds Mike Pfau as Manager of JASPER’s Advertising Division.