Co-founders Marvin Ray and Dave Swensen have funded the newly minted association themselves to offer techs and shop owners support and programs
Three years ago, aftermarket industry veterans Marvin Ray and Dave Swenson saw a need for an association dedicated to mechanics and shop owners with support and programs tailored to their individual business needs — at no membership cost. Today, the Mechanic Alliance Foundation is up and running with a growing membership that takes advantage of product discounts, technical and business training, and mentoring for techs.
Aftermarket Matters Weekly had an opportunity to ask Marvin Ray a few questions about the foundation and its mission of “Mechanics Helping Mechanics.”
When did the Mechanics Alliance Foundation launch?
We started our research on this to find the best approach a little over 3 years ago. Last year in January we figured out the correct road, “Mechanics Helping Mechanics.” Behind the scenes we have technicians buying scan tools for others that they have met, and who have help pay for MWACA’s Vision Hi-Tech Training & Expo for them and so much more.
What was the impetus for its launching?
To help technicians in every way possible. More importantly receiving a wage that they can raise a family with along with decreasing the major exodus in our industry. Also, discounts to training seminars from us and other companies along with tool discounts, discounts for taxes help, insurance, health share and more.
What makes the Mechanics Alliance Foundation different from other industry trade associations for technicians and owners?
We are primarily for the technician, identifying what services are out there currently to help them with building a resume for free, help them start their own repair shop with a business plan, provide free mentoring one on one, help a lube tech find a decent job instead of leaving the industry in the average 1.5 years because no one helps them out, the list goes on and on as each circumstance is different. We do work with owners, we hand pick them and they have to meet our criteria of taking care of their team members properly.
Looks like it’s based on donations and volunteers — how does that work and how is it working?
We were for profit until the beginning of this year when we decided to go 501c3. As we know techs do not have a lot of money to support things on their own so we felt this the best way to go. We have funded the association ourselves to this point, we have no debt and keep growing at a strong steady pace for the past two years.
We are committed to mechanics, technicians and repair people of all forms in the transportation industry. Our industry is one of high demand and requires high skills combined with hard work. We recognize this and strive to elevate those in our industry to a higher level of respect as practitioners of a true craft. Our goal is that every mechanic knows their value and works for a business that has integrity to its customers and its employees. We achieve those goals through mentorship, training and education, job placement and worldwide networking. Our members span the globe, and through this vast accumulation of centuries of knowledge and experience we are able to recognize the problems in our industry and help meet the needs of our members wherever they may be both geographically and in their current career path.
Where do you see the alliance 5, 10 years from now?
Dave and myself, are 63 and 65, and we are building this to hand off to those top technicians such as the likes of Oscar Gomez, Aaron Marion, Travis Schroer and Haakan Light to name a few. Everything we do and teach comes from within today’s actual working in the bay, not from an instructor that has taught for 20 years and isn’t working daily in the trench’s understanding what actually takes place. We are not discrediting them at all, what we are saying is its a total different world from those that left it even 5 years ago to go teach. Check us out for yourself.