CAREERS IN AUTO: BAXTER/LEXUS OF OMAHA
Brad Richey is a Service Manager at Baxter/Lexus of Omaha. Here he shares his own experience in the auto industry, as well as Baxter/Lexus of Omaha’s involvement with Avenue Scholars students.
What is your role like as Service Manager at Baxter/Lexus of Omaha?
As Service Manager, I am responsible for the employee and customer experience. Growing employees and ensuring they have the support and resources they need for success is a top priority.
What do you find most challenging and most rewarding in your career?
The most challenging part of this industry and my role is the constantly changing environment. The vehicles are getting more technologically advanced every year and customer expectations are always evolving. The most rewarding part of my role is being part of employees’ journeys in their career. Watching them mature, gain experience and knowledge, start families, take vacations, purchase houses and cars, and generally be successful is very rewarding.
What led you to pursue a career in the automotive services industry?
Vehicles were my passion. This industry provides a good opportunity for growth from an entry level up through career-oriented type positions. It’s a welcoming industry that is focused on giving youth the opportunities to grow. I’ve had a passion for vehicles, and I’ve also enjoyed some of the independence you have working for a dealership and in the auto industry.
How does Baxter benefit from the Avenue Scholars internship program?
The candidates that we’ve had have been above average engagement level. Our students that we’ve had have performed better earlier on. This benefits Baxter because when we look at potential candidates, it makes it easier for us to decide. Plus, Avenue Scholars also provides some tools to the students and that gives them a head start on their career once they are finished with school. The benefit to us is getting a more engaged employee and one that’s more likely to continue with us following their education.
What is the Career Awareness Event that you host for Avenue Scholars students?
We bring the students in and have them shadow some of the technicians in the shop. They work for half a day and get their hands dirty, so to speak, working with the technicians and observing, and participating in some of the repairs and having a mentor for a couple of hours. We give them a tour of the facility, we discuss career paths and expectations if you choose to become a technician, and some of the benefits and challenges they may face. We provide them with an opportunity to work with the technicians and get a sense if that’s something they want to do or not.
What advice do you have for other businesses in the community that might be interested in working with Avenue Scholars?
All the career coaches have been wonderful to work with. The partnership there provides extra value when we’re training and looking to hire potential employees. There’s great opportunity involved in this program; these employees can be very impactful. It’s encouraging to see that we have so many Avenue Scholars be successful.
What excites you about the next 5-10 years in the auto industry?
The vehicles of tomorrow are coming soon and it’s very exciting. Lexus has always been a leader in the luxury market and will continue to be in the future. The products in development will be unlike anything we’ve worked with before from a technological standpoint.
Do you have any advice for students interested in pursuing a career in the automotive industry?
This is a great industry. There’s lots of opportunity and technicians are in high demand. It’s a highly technical field. You get to work with technology, it’s a very skilled position, and it can be very rewarding. It provides the opportunity/the means to have a family and support yourself. It’s very fast-paced and a high-demand growing field.
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