auto care career and education award

ACE Award - Auto Care Career and Education Award (formerly the Head of the Class Award)

ACE AwardThe Auto Care Career and Education (ACE) Award was created by the Auto Care Association’s Education Committee to recognize industry companies truly dedicated to investing in the growth of their employees’ knowledge and skills, and offering professional development and career opportunities.

Award-winning companies are acknowledged as leaders in the industry because they provide their employees with both the culture that leads to career growth and the education and training needed for employees to reach their individual career goals. These companies, in turn, benefit from their investment because educated and engaged employees contribute to a more customer-centric, efficient and profitable business.

The Auto Care Association promotes the winning companies as examples of what leading companies are doing, outlining their successful programs, and sharing the return on investment each company experiences.

Apply here by June 30, 2017.

2016 winners


Federal-Mogul Motorparts
Southfield, Mich.
Brian Tarnacki, Director, Global Brand Planning and Strategy; Brent Berman, Director, Training and Consumer Experience; Mark Carley, Global Organizational Effectiveness Manager Number of Employees: 15,000;
Number of Locations Globally: 62

  • Training for all employees required for compliance, safety and quality, plus employees must finish training relevant to their specific job duties.
  • Dedicated training budget.
  • Most employees have laptops or desktop computers; most locations have dedicated training centers.
  • Offer Talent Management Cycle program, includes succession planning, mentoring, goal-setting, performance reviews, leadership programs. Communicate key business activities and values via CEO and senior leadership team.
  • Most is instructor-led content; but also use recognized global vendors for soft skill education. Product knowledge training developed and taught by in-house experts.
  • Offer new employees education to “hit the ground running” and refresher courses for longer-tenured employees.
  • ƒCurriculum ranges from employee development to tactical skillsbased learning to safety to leadership courses.
  • Supports/hosts the University of Aftermarket 101 course, for employees and open to industry.
  • Through top-down support and investment in continuous training and training related resources and facilities, and bottom-up embrace of programs by employee population, building a culture that embraces knowledge and continuous development.
  • Increased employee engagement, more effective sales, marketing and product development programs, and increased utilization of training facilities and better service to customers.


Painters Supply & Equipment
Taylor, Mich.
Patrick Mayette, President; Guy Bargnes, Senior VP, Sales and Marketing
Number of Employees: 216; Number of Locations: 21 in Michigan, Ohio and Indiana

  • Specific training requirements, includes tele-coaching, and guide to collision center profitability.
  • Position training for territory managers, technical service reps, business development managers; store managers, counter sales, regional managers.
  • Department heads determine specific projects, anticipated needs, certification requirements annually, there is a dedicated training budget.
  • Corporate location has dedicated state-of-the-art learning center; education also at store locations.
  • Available to all employees: the mission statement, leadership values, WIG (wildly important goals), call for feedback, discussion opportunities, behavioral modification and formal coaching to enhance a culture of sharing and communication.
  • Partners with suppliers for education/training: customer service, selling skills, telephone skills, product training.
  • Encourages and facilitates continuous improvement via integrated training programs.
  • Offers counterperson workshops, time management, peak performance, distributor tech rep certification, solution-based selling, excellence in distribution management courses.
  • Launched a mandatory personnel “selling unlimited” program, a highly specialized and personalized sales coaching and development program for sales and technical support personnel.
  • Education programs and funding are reviewed annually, including industry and new product programs, regulatory changes and performance review needs.


Vic’s Service, Ltd
Wainwright, AB, Canada
Doug Callaghan, Owner; Number of Employees: 9

  • Full-service automotive repair and maintenance shop.
  • Beginning in 2015, owner invested in employee education/training, new equipment
    along with a personal commitment to focusing on the business.
  • Engaged instructors/consultants to teach new processes and educate the owner on his role.
  • Established training program for staff with timelines and expectations based on skills assessment.
  • All employees required to complete 100 hours of education per year.
  • Each staff member has a three-year education/development plan that is reviewed with the owner.
  • Owner engages and completes education at same level as the staff.
  • Educated front counter operations on front line and technical training, does cross training.
  • Labor sales up, expanded to six bays from three.
  • Staff is engaged and care about what they are doing, no longer guess where they are headed.
  • Each staff member is accountable, with education/training now part of the culture.
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