We’re Changing More Than the Face of Automotive RetailWe're Changing Lives
THREE KEYS TO SUCCESS
Grassroots implementation by dealers is the core of the scholarship program.
It’s a great way for dealers to show they value women throughout the retail experience.
Take action today:
Tara Rodgers started working at Jack Schmitt Chevrolet in O’Fallon, Illinois, washing cars. She’s now a porter at the dealership, a 4.0 student at Lewis and Clark Community College and a WRN Drive to Succeed Scholarship winner. The executive manager at Jack Schmitt can’t say enough about Rodgers and hopes she’ll work full-time at the dealership when she’s completed school. Rodgers, who’s studying Automotive Technology, is still a rare breed. She grew up wrenching on car and trucks, and quickly developed the love of fixing them. Thanks to the scholarship program, she received $2,500 toward her automotive studies.
If you think you know the WRN Drive to Succeed Scholarship winners, think again. Sure, they’re top students pursuing technical and non-technical auto-related degrees. But our winners represent all walks of life — military veterans, dealership employees, mothers and grandmothers, technicians, accountants, body shop specialists and even a professional racecar driver. What do they all have in common? They’re all passionate about serving customers as part of GM’s automotive retail experience.
The WRN Drive to Succeed Scholarship program demonstrates the value GM and its dealers place on women and their importance to the Company’s overall success. With women now the No. 1 consumer of automotive sales and service, it is paramount that we deliver an experience focused on their needs. This includes a representative, diverse dealer body that is attentive, knowledgeable and committed to excellence.
“With every scholarship awarded we are investing in our future, as well as helping women reach their true potential. Our dealers are already benefiting from the skills scholarship winners are bringing into the workplace. Exceptional female employees increase customer loyalty and overall profitability, and attract other women to the automotive industry.”
− Christa Luna, WRN Scholarship chair
GM and its dealers continue as the only manufacturing/retail partnership to offer scholarships to women pursuing academic degrees in automotive management and technical fields. Since 2011, the program has provided 51 individual scholarships totaling $157,000.00 to students in the U.S. and Canada representing a variety of sales regions, ethnicities and cultural backgrounds.
Many of our scholarship winners are currently working in GM dealerships in a variety of positions — administrative, BDC, sales, marketing, service and parts. They are transferring their classroom learning to real-world settings, and vice versa. They’re also implementing best practices to improve operations and elevate the role of women throughout the retail experience.
The goal for the scholarship campaign is simple: More donations, more promotions and more nominations. Here’s how to get involved:
- Please make your donations online now. Fundraising is open all year.
- Use the suggestions in the toolkit to create awareness of the tremendous opportunities that exist for women in automotive sales, service and retail management by working with local civic organizations, media, and schools/colleges/vocational programs.
- Partner with educators to identify interested young women and encourage female candidates — including your employees — to apply.
- Work with GM WOMEN in the field to develop a creative game plan for promotion, nomination, contribution.