The Automotive Aftermarket Suppliers Association (AASA) has introduced a new membership category, designed to aid those who have been laid off during the current pandemic.
“The Networking Member category is designed for those in our industry who are transitioning between companies,” the association’s senior vice president of operations said in an AASA press briefing this week.
Chris Gardner said AASA has partnered with executive search firm APA Search to create a database of temporarily out-of-work aftermarket professionals, who have lost their jobs due to Covid-19.
“This will remain in operation until the end of the crisis to help those who have been directly impacted,” Gardner said.
The platform will provide unemployed automotive associates with opportunities to be found and hired by automotive industry employers at no cost to either party.
A related website also will provide industry employers a free, searchable, and indexed database of automotive associates with vital industry skills and experience. The database has been updated to accommodate all positions related to the transportation industry.
Automotive associates who have lost their positions and would like to be found can register at www.register.apasearch.com.
“This important partnership with APA Search is a crucial part of what our association does best,” said Paul McCarthy, AASA president and chief operating officer. “We foster meaningful connections within our industry and offer resources to our members. Retaining valuable people in our essential industry is how the automotive aftermarket will continue to grow and prosper in the future despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.”
During the press briefing, McCarthy acknowledged that the past few weeks have been an absolute whirlwind for his association.
“Let me just say this crisis is the busiest we’ve ever been, probably in our 116-year history, as we try to connect members to insights and guidance, and navigate through this crisis,” he said.
While the headwinds facing the industry are obvious and daunting, he suggested there are also some tailwinds that may not be fully appreciated.
Among the bright spots:
* He believes the downturn has hit its low point, with April likely marking the bottom of the trough;
* Miles driven—the biggest driver for our marketplace – are starting to recover;
* The coming economic restart will likely bring increased employment in the aftermarket;
* Gas prices are at rock bottom; and
* Millions of people are eager to hit the open road.
“There are stir-crazy people around the world who want to move around again, and do so safely,” he said. “Wall Street has identified the aftermarket as a valuable opportunity in the recovery.”
As for how AASA members are viewing the current situation, McCarthy said he’s hearing a lot of optimism.
“We are hearing rational caution in our industry, and we’re also hearing rational hope that at least from a business perspective, the rest of the year may look better than what we’ve experienced so far this year. Compared to other industries, we have a brighter outlook in the recovery period.”