SEMA Member News - May/June 2010
HRIA Youth Awareness
There Are Many Ways to Get Fresh Faces Into the Act
The next generation of automotive enthusiasts is needed to ensure the longevity of our hobby and the businesses that rely on it. Getting kids interested in the history, enjoyment and career opportunities available in the hot-rod industry provides our best hope for enthusiastic customers and qualified employees. Take a kid to a car show!
A critical mission of the Hot Rod Industry Alliance (HRIA) is to support and develop the hot rodders of today and tomorrow. The HRIA Youth Awareness Program was developed to promote activities that expose teenagers and young adults to both the hobby and industry of hot rodding. The goal of the program is to develop a future generation of hot-rodding consumers, workers and enthusiasts. Any SEMA-member company can participate in this program by contacting HRIA. Participation comes in many forms and is limited only by your imagination.
Your company can participate in the HRIA Youth Awareness Program in a variety of ways. Some of the HRIA’s member companies have provided examples of the programs they are currently sponsoring and supporting.
Tours & Open Houses: As a manufacturing facility, Vintage Air hosts open houses for local high-school and technical school students. The tours offer students a chance to experience a side of the hot-rod industry that they may not otherwise get a chance to see. Your company can host similar tours and open houses for local students. Contact your area’s schools and colleges, inviting classes to visit your facilities. To help make the tours more exciting for younger students, be sure to have some hot rods on display.
School Partnerships: Painless Performance works directly with the electronic engineering school at Texas A&M University on automotive- and hot-rodding-related school projects. Theses collaborative projects have inspired some students to start their own businesses and develop new automotive products. There is most likely a high school, trade school or university in your area that is waiting for someone to volunteer to support their projects. In many cases, the only cost of this support is your time.
School to Work: The folks at Classic Instruments in Boyne City, Michigan, have teamed up with their local school districts and colleges to create programs that allow students to work at the company. The schools are given access to opportunities for placement, while Classic Instruments is exposed to a great pool of future workers. Many local communities already have “school to work” programs, and you simply need to contact them for more information.
Student Projects: Detroit Speed in Mooresville, North Carolina, sponsors local high-school students who are working on automotive-related projects. Detroit Speed provides students with access to its engineering, machine shop, manufacturing and quality control teams to help with the senior projects that are required at local high schools. One participant went on to become a college engineering student focusing on the automotive industry. Many local high schools require a certain number of work-related hours per month for such projects, and your company may be able to provide those hours.
Five Reasons to Choose HRIA Membership
Education & Training Day: Working in conjunction with the Hotrod & Restoration trade show, HRIA-member companies are able to educate and train dealers on the specifics of their products and key selling points. Dealers are better at selling products that they are knowledgeable about and comfortable with, which results in higher sales and fewer returns.
Youth Awareness: The next generation of automotive enthusiasts is needed to ensure the longevity of our hobby and the businesses that rely on it. Getting kids interested in the history, enjoyment and career opportunities available in the hot-rod industry provides our best hope for enthusiastic customers and qualified employees.
Legislative Issues: Working in conjunction with SEMA’s Washington staff, HRIA works to head off federal or state legislation that could be detrimental to the hot-rod industry while also supporting legislation that could benefit us. It’s a combined effort, whether they need our help through grassroots letter-writing campaigns to ensure that our government is listening or we need their help in monitoring bills.
Industry Reception and Recognition: Networking opportunities provide the backdrop for friendships to be renewed and business relationships to be fostered. At these events, we also pause to recognize those who have stood out among their peers and thank those who have served our industry with their time, talent and dedication.
Hot Rod Alley: As part of the SEMA Show, this focused area highlighting our industry provides buyers with a more targeted solution for their product needs.
In 2010, the HRIA will be teaming up with Goodguys Rod & Custom Association to introduce the Goodguys YoungGuys program. The intent of the program is to provide opportunities for kids to take part in hot rodding. Teenagers and young adults who sign up for the program will receive a full year’s subscription to the Goodguys Gazette as well as all the discounts afforded to regular Goodguys members. The HRIA salutes Goodguys for taking an active role in supporting our hot rodders of tomorrow.