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RR 358: John Gustafson – ATC: Synchronizing the Automotive Trades
31st August 2018 • Remarkable Results Radio Podcast • Carm Capriotto, AAP
00:00:00 00:40:07

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John Gustafson is the president and CEO of Gustafson Brothers, Inc. an auto service center in Huntington Beach, California. The company specializes in customer service and performs auto service work, collision repair, and paintwork along with other auto-related services for the community. John and brother Frank started the company out of the family garage in 1971 and have enjoyed continuous growth every year since inception. The personnel count at Gustafson’s shops average 70 team members and guest demand (growth) requires that we recruit and hire more. John is currently focusing on repairing the talent shortage that is crippling our industry and has formed a not for profit co-op to serve the needs of Gustafson Brothers and the rest of the aftermarket. At 66 years young and with 47 years in the auto trades, John Gustafson is having a remarkable life and wishes to share his success with those who are interested and willing to make a difference. The Auto Talent Co-Op is an independent non-profit organization whose vision is to effectively unite resources within the automotive industry, and establish clear career path standards for its users’. ATC Mission
  • To build a synchronized and accessible platform, able to unite the automotive industry
  • Refill the talent pool for all automotive job-related positions
  • Fulfill the technician shortage, and improve technician retention
  • Streamline career paths, bridge technician skills gap and improve recruitment
ATC Values
  • Integrity & Honesty
  • Dedication & Commitment
  • Education & Imagination
  • Knowledge & Skill
The intent of ATC is to seek out and recognize the great work of all the existing groups and help synchronize the best practices in the industry to benefit all stakeholders. This auto talent co-op is not a threat to what exists today in the universe of auto. All existing & future associations, 20 groups, business development groups, vendors, shops and all other members that touch auto remain independent and autonomous. The fact is; all of these groups are essential to the success of the Co-Op and benefit their own group by volunteering a member or funding a member to an action pod. The Auto Talent Co-Op is not to be led and managed by an individual but rather by a coalition of forward-thinking creative young people. Individuals are selected and sponsored by the industry manufacturers, distributors, vendors, trainers and association members of the Co-Op. The core mission of the coalition is to identify and document auto career paths, organize training and recruiting and to have trained, qualified employable people available to the auto trades industry.  
Key Talking Points:
  • Auto talent coop:Non-profit program to improve industry
  • Sign up form on the website to participate and donation form
  • Needed to find talented techniciansAttract best companies willing to give 1 person from their staff for 1 hour a week to be in one of the 5 action pods on a weekly basisCareer path- a foundation for rest of the pods. Encompasses everything in auto care. Example of 6 level of tech training advancement for over 7 years. Earnings tied to performance.
  • Training- in order to move up in career path need documented training. Minimum 3-hour blocks per month.
  • Recruiting- occurs as young as grade school, but also for recruiting for any auto careers. Also for utilizing people ready to retire to train the future generation.
  • Must have- creating buzz for people to join
  • Sustainable- finding funding for coop, creating an app for phones
  • Allows current technicians, middle schoolers, or entry-level technicians to see a career path and stay motivated
  • Sponsors summer/winter camp when school is outIntro to auto camp- 13-18 years old participants. Parents pay $20 per day for class (5 days or 10 days), corporate sponsors that will pay student fee. Hands-on class shows full auto career path.
Other Resources: Auto Talent Coop Website Gustafson Brothers Auto Repair Website Be socially involved and in touch with the show: Facebook  Twitter  Linked In  Email   Events   Speaking This episode is brought to you by Federal-MogulMotorparts and Garage Gurus. With brands like Moog, Felpro, Wagner Brake, Champion, Sealed Power, FP Diesel and more, they’re the parts techs trust. For serious technical training and support – online, onsite and on-demand – Garage Gurus is everything you need to know. Find out more at and