New Money: Gaining Traction

The Auto Care Association's job board drives revenue and goodwill for the association—and notice from millennial audiences, too.

What do manufacturers, distributors, auto parts stores, repair shops, marketers, and retailers all have in common? They’re the half-million businesses that compose the membership of the Auto Care Association. “Automotive aftermarket” is another term used to describe the industry served by this group, whose members support auto care after the manufacturer sells the vehicle to the consumer. Who knew?

The leadership at the Auto Care Association figured that millennials probably didn’t know, especially since the automotive aftermarket industry had been struggling for some years to fill open jobs with young, talented employees.

You can come here and have a successful, happy career, with good work-life balance.

To remedy this problem, the group launched in 2014 to educate external audiences on the array of job opportunities available in the industry, which the association says employs 4.5 million professionals across the country, with 300,000 jobs available at any given time. The average wages and benefits of a professional working in the field is $61,800.

The Auto Care Association wanted the site to relay the message that “hey, this is a lucrative career,” says Courtney Hammer, director of job and career development. “You can come here and have a successful, happy career, with good work-life balance.”

A job board was a natural companion to the site, and its revenue potential made it appealing to the association’s board of directors. “It could be a nondues generator for the association with the intention that any money coming in from posting jobs would go back into investing in educating the external audience about coming to work for the industry,” Hammer says.

The Auto Care Association launched the Industry Jobs Board in August 2015, allowing employers to post jobs for free for six months. After that, the association charged a fee for job postings—and within four months, they were already in the black.

Hammer says the goal is to make $150,000 on the job board by the end of the association’s fiscal year on June 30, 2017. “If we reach this, it would certainly cover our advertising and marketing expenses and help us expand our grassroots initiative into the universities and colleges,” she says.

The job board is also gaining traction with groups like the Specialty Equipment Market Association, the National Independent Automobile Dealers Association, and, most recently, CAWA, a regional association that represents the automotive parts industry, who are all partnering with the Auto Care Association. These groups, among others, are sharing the Auto Care Association’s job board network platform.

“We’re continuously growing it,” Hammer says. “Instead of everyone having their own separate job board, they’re all going to come under ours.”


Emily Bratcher

By Emily Bratcher

Emily Bratcher is a Contributing Editor for Associations Now. MORE

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