Expansion of Career Services: Students and Experienced Job Seekers Finding Employment in the Automotive Aftermarket Industry

By Amelia F. Zwecher

  Career Fair
Career fairs bring awareness to a company’s brand and are a great recruitment resource. SEMA can connect your company to career fairs happening at local higher-education institutions.

SEMA’s education team launched its Career Services program in the first quarter of 2016 and has received significant support from employers in the industry. Many successful new initiatives and events have taken place since then to help strengthen the employment market in the automotive aftermarket industry.

Career Days at the SEMA Show and PRI Trade Show

The inaugural Career Day at the 2016 SEMA Show was the first event launched by the SEMA education team to highlight the array of careers in the automotive aftermarket industry. Approximately 50 employers and more than 500 students attended last year’s event.

While at the event, students had the opportunity to learn about companies in the automotive aftermarket, inquire about future internships and other employment opportunities, and improve professional networking skills. Although many of the students in attendance at the SEMA Show had existing interests in the automotive industry, the event helped highlight the diversity of career paths in the industry.

“I applaud SEMA for being proactive and starting this event,” said Kelleigh Ash, general manager of Rolling Big Power Inc., which participated in the 2016 SEMA Show Career Day. “We need fresh faces in the industry, and this is a great way to do it in an engaging way for students.”

SEMA announced that two more Career Days will be held at the 2017 SEMA Show on Monday, October 30, and, for the first time, at the 2017 PRI Trade Show on Friday, December 8, in conjunction with a student breakfast where more than 400 students are expected to participate.

To register your company to participate in one of these events, contact Amelia Zwecher at ameliaz@sema.org.

Virtual Career Fair

SEMA rolled out its inaugural virtual career fair on June 1, expanding opportunities for both automotive aftermarket companies and industry job seekers. The virtual career fair concept was introduced to the academic and professional environment within the past few years.

A virtual career fair is an interactive online platform that connects job seekers to industry employers in a one-day event. Virtual recruitment events are gaining prominence and becoming a preferred college recruitment tool.

“We’re excited to bring the SEMA virtual career fair to the automotive aftermarket industry,” said SEMA Education Senior Director Zane Clark. “Using this online platform makes it easy for companies looking to hire employees to meet with job candidates without worrying about transportation and overhead costs normally associated with on-site events.”

SEMA’s June virtual career fair drew 29 employers and 618 registered jobseekers. Many employers and job seekers were impressed with the convenience and flexibility of virtual career fairs.

The virtual career fair attracted more than 250 student job seekers, 350 experienced professionals, and employers throughout the United States and internationally. The event’s unique format offered employers and job seekers a strong presence that often exceeds traditional career fairs. Keep an eye out for upcoming virtual career fairs coming in 2018.

Other Recruiting Events

A national career fair listing alert is published monthly in SEMA eNews, offering industry employers information on opportunities to participate in traditional and virtual career fairs throughout the United States.

Career fairs bring awareness to a company’s brand and promote the automotive aftermarket to the next generation of employees and consumers. Aside from recruitment, career fairs are a great opportunity to give back to the industry and to counsel students who are just starting out in their careers by providing insight on topics such as what types of job functions are out there, what employers are looking for, how to prepare for an interview and more. Career fairs are held at thousands of institutions across the nation each year, and SEMA can connect companies to upcoming career fairs being held in their area.

As Career Services continues to expand, SEMA will host career fairs periodically throughout the United States, based on demand by employers. If you are interested in participating in an upcoming career fair to promote your business and support the automotive aftermarket industry, contact SEMA Career Services Manager Amelia Zwecher at ameliaz@sema.org.

Get Connected

SEMA maintains close relations with institutions across the nation and works to connect businesses to opportunities that arise in their local area. To sign up for notifications of events happening in your area, visit www.sema.org/education. To apply and post career opportunities, visit www.sema.org/jobs.

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