2.21.22 - Spots are filling up quickly for the much-anticipated educational slate at the NORTHEAST® 2022 Automotive Services Show, taking place March 18-20 at the Meadowlands Exposition Center (MEC) in Secaucus, NJ.

This year’s educational program at the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of New Jersey’s (AASP/NJ) flagship event will cover a wide selection of topics to help automotive repairers face the challenging, rapidly changing climate of today's industry to improve their businesses.

One of the most widely talked about, debated and legislatively battled issues affecting the automotive repair industry is the Labor Rate; therefore a special panel “Labor Rate 2022 & Beyond: How to Get What You’re Worth” is sure to be a highlight of the 2022 NORTHEAST educational slate.

Moderated by veteran auto body journalist Joel Gausten, the panel will feature AASP/NJ President Jerry McNee, Lucky Papageorg (Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Massachusetts), Burl Richards (Auto Body Association of Texas), Barrett Smith (Auto Damage Experts, Inc.) and Sam & Richard Valenzuela (National AutoBody Research).

In addition to sharing real-world experiences and discussing past, present and future initiatives to address the Labor Rate crisis, panelists will offer insights on ways shops can advocate for the elevation of the industry and the success of repair professionals as a whole. This panel will take place Saturday, March 19 at 1:30pm.

McNee encourages every repairer to take the time to attend this important discussion.

“Paying attention to what is going on and attending this panel is an important step in finding out what others are doing to combat the Labor Rate challenge. I don’t think there is a shop out there that feels the current rate is fair or justifiable.

“Just because the insurance company says so doesn’t mean it is,” adds McNee about the so-called “prevailing rate” insurance companies claim is determined based on charges in a market area. “Every time you request a rate, they say ‘There’s nothing I can do,’ ‘It’s above my pay grade’ or ‘I don’t make the decisions.’ We’ve been hearing that same old song and dance for years. Pathetically, there are a few insurance companies that will throw us a couple of dollars or a $1 an hour raise. But it’s comical – all that does is benefit the insurer and their bottom line. If you get a $1 increase in your rates, what are you going to do about it? It’s already gobbled up before you have even received it. “

McNee’s sentiments and those of the other panelists will be explored during this panel discussion at NORTHEAST. Be sure not to miss it!

From this crucial Labor Rate discussion to explorations of the tech shortage, ADAS and more, the NORTHEAST educational slate offers everything shops need to survive and thrive in today’s automotive repair atmosphere. Spots are filling up fast. Register now at aaspnjnortheast.com/education.

NORTHEAST 2022 marks the 45th year AASP/NJ has presented what has become known throughout the industry as the largest regional event of its kind. The tradeshow floor promises once again to deliver the industry's latest and greatest equipment offerings with more than 150 vendors anticipated to return to the MEC.

To pre-register for FREE show badges and to keep up with the latest information and announcements about NORTHEAST 2022, visit aaspnjnortheast.com.