Culture First, Then Skills at Carter Meyers Automotive

CMA Lynchburg Blog

Time and again, we’ve heard that technical skills can be taught, but compassion and a willingness to learn is innate – you either have it or you don’t. When we spoke to Beth Lucchesi, a talent acquisition specialist for Carter Meyers Automotive (CMA), we heard the same thing and more about how being a cultural fit is just as important as knowing the difference between an exhaust system and a fuel system.

In today’s automotive industry, you don’t have to have an associate degree to get started, but it does help to demonstrate some of those soft and hard skills employers are looking for.

“We have about 100 jobs at every one of our dealerships, and we’re a great place to work for students who may be earning their degree while they work,” Lucchesi said. “We do a lot of recruiting from Virginia’s Community Colleges and we’re looking at students in the automotive technology program, but we’re also recruiting students from business and information technology.”

Lucchesi made the case for why someone should consider CMA over other dealerships and shops. In addition to a good lifestyle and strong pay, she touts CMA’s ability to nurture and foster talent and skill as a unique proposition of the organization.

“This was my first job out of high school. I had no education, but I came here to work and they poured into me,” Lucchesi said. “I started to work my way up to be a general manager at multiple locations and now I’m a recruiter. I get to build relationships, be in my community and work with folks like the instructors and community colleges to talk about what we offer for careers.”

CMA operates in multiple markets in Virginia, and as part of its recruitment efforts, it hosts an apprenticeship program, internships and experience days for youth and collegiate organizations.

These learning opportunities aren’t just one directional. Lucchesi has found that both the old guard in the shops and the new folks coming in have a lot to learn from each other.

“We see a lot of reverse mentorship,” she said. “Apprentice techs come in with an affinity for IT and programming, and they’re showing the older guys how fun it can be to understand the computer piece. The dealerships and manufacturers hold a lot of continual training in an online environment, but our seasoned techs aren’t always computer friendly, they don’t want to do it on a computer. But these young folks show up and work through it with them in person.”

As it relates to G3, technicians with CMA are needed with its collision and mechanical departments. Getting the automotive technician degree through one of Virginia’s Community Colleges is a great way to get fundamental basics under your belt – without the debt of private training programs. And with more senior technicians retiring, CMA and other dealerships desperately need more young technicians to gain the skills they need to join the ranks.

“G3 fills the void of finding the resource to pay for tuition. If you don’t have the resources to learn automatic tech to be accredited and immediately find a job anywhere with that accreditation, G3 solves that issue,” Lucchesi said.

If working with your hands, while thinking creatively and critically with technology sounds like you, consider starting an automotive program through G3 at your local community college. Then, when it comes time to find a career, remember the folks at CMA.

“I would love for the world to know that at CMA, we support our community, our schools and our students in every market. We just want to share the message that automotive is an incredible employment opportunity,” Lucchesi said. “Give it a chance. You never know where you’ll find your perfect fit.”

Carter Myers Automotive is a supporter of Virginia’s Community Colleges and the statewide G3 Business Ambassador Program. Visit its website to learn more.