Member Updates


Operative Talent: Supporting Youth Engagement in The Automotive Aftermarket Industry


In the dynamic world of the automotive aftermarket industry, there lies a vital mission – to nurture and empower the next generation of talent. As technology advances and presents new and exciting opportunities, inspiring and engaging young minds is crucial for the industry's continued growth and innovation.  

By providing young car enthusiasts with the knowledge, skills and hands-on experiences, we equip them to become the driving force behind future breakthroughs.

Operative Talent is one initiative leading the way in this mission by connecting aspiring talent with exciting opportunities in the automotive sector. Through their projects and partnerships, they fuel passion and interest in young individuals and encourage them to pursue rewarding careers and shape the industry's future.

Let's shine the spotlight on Operative Talent and take a look at their transformative work, as well as the incredible impact they have on nurturing the next generation of automotive aftermarket professionals. 

Buckle up as we dive in!


What is Operative Talent?
Operative Talent is an innovative initiative that attracts young adults with varying skill levels to the automotive industry. They are passionate connecting aspiring talent with the vibrant world of vintage, classic and muscle cars and share exciting opportunities, success stories and news within the field.

Funded by Petty's Family Foundation (Petty's Garage) and Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), their mission is to inspire and empower the next generation.

No matter the interests – metal fabrication, bodywork and paint, graphic design, marketing, warehousing or project management – Operative Talent believes there is a perfect place for youths in the automotive industry. Operative Talent is dedicated to exploring the endless possibilities the automotive world has in store for young car lovers as they guide them toward a rewarding and fulfilling career.


How are industry leaders getting involved?
Operative Talent partners with diverse businesses and organizations who share their same commitment and mission.

What began as a single-car charity build has now evolved into a national initiative with over 70 partners (and is still growing!) They have seven vehicles in line to be built nationwide, offering hands-on experiences for many young people. Their ventures also extend to STEM program discussions, partner career fair days and event presence scheduled for late 2023 and beyond.

Among esteemed partners are prominent names such as the Petty Family Foundation, BASF Automotive, Auto Metal Direct, Foose Design, KC HiLiTES, Modern Rodding, Collision Repair Education Foundation, KTL Restorations, In The Garage Media, Vintage Air and many, many more.

Operative Talent is watching as companies across the aftermarket sector join arms and forgo "logos and branding," as their voice needs to be clear and loud. Together, they strive to achieve the shared goal of excellence and drive a positive impact in the industry. Operative Talent's valued partnerships empower them to make a meaningful difference and accomplish impressive milestones.


Exciting Operative Talent events 
Operative Talent plans to host multiple events and projects to support and empower youths in the automotive industry.


AutoFest for Talent
Operative Talent is thrilled to present its AutoFest for Talent event on Sept. 23, 2023, at Petty's Garage in Randleman, NC. By participating, you enjoy a fantastic event and support Operative Talent's mission. 

The event promises to include music, food, and fun, along with wicked cool cars, trucks, and motorcycles. For more information on AutoFest Talent or to register, please click here. 


Camaro build 
Operative Talent invites students to apply for a unique project in partnership with top restoration and fabrication professionals and organizations. Gain valuable skills, knowledge and training for a rewarding career in the collision industry.

Students aged 16 or older with parental consent can apply. The project aims to attract future talent to the industry by educating the population on its ample opportunities and success stories. A fundraising initiative, including a sweepstakes to win the 1969 Camaro Talent, will support the building of a career in the automotive aftermarket promoting the industry.

For more information or to purchase a raffle ticket, visit Operative Talent's website. 


Key Takeaway
Investing in and empowering the next generation of talent is not just a mission—it's a vital necessity for the automotive aftermarket industry.

One powerful initiative helping achieve these goals is Operative Talent by bridging the gap between aspiring talent and the vibrant world of the automotive sector. Their teamwork and partnerships highlight numerous chances, success stories and exciting aspects that await young car enthusiasts.

With the backing of esteemed partners like The Petty Family Foundation, BASF Automotive, Collision Repair Education Foundation (CREF), and others, Operative Talent has blossomed from a single-car charity built into a nationwide initiative with over 70 partners

Their projects, including the Camaro Build and exciting events like AutoFest for Talent, offer hands-on experiences and drive passion among youths. Operative Talent's dedication to shaping the future of the automotive industry is inspiring, and its commitment to providing knowledge, skills and guidance to the next generation of automotive professionals is commendable.

Don't miss out on shaping the future of the automotive industry. Learn how you can get involved and visit Operative Talent's website today.

Disclaimer: SEMA ARMO does not endorse products or services of this organization. This content is for informational purposes only.  Please continue to make decisions that are in the best interest of yourself and your company.