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DATE News (chronologically)
11/28/08
racing news
NCMA Initiate “Motorsports Employment Task Force”
The motorsports industry is not immune to the current economic downturn. Nearly all race teams in the industry have made some level of cutbacks. It is estimated that upwards of 700 jobs have been lost in recent weeks and its possible the layoffs will continue into 2009.

Initiated by Humpy Wheeler and administered by the North Carolina Motorsports Association, a Motorsports Employment Task Force was developed to address the job loss issues. A meeting was convened last Friday. Attendees of the initial meeting included associates from NASCAR, the NC Legislature, Centralina Workforce Development Board, Career Transition Consultants, NC Biotech Center, NASCAR Technical Institute, Women’s Auxiliary of Motorsports, NC-Community College Motorsports Consortium, Belmont Abbey College, Compass Career Management, The Wheeler Company and The NCMA.

The group discussed ways to immediately provide support and information to current displaced workers. In addition the Task Force discussed plans for a promotional campaign to other industries that would showcase the skills and benefits to hiring someone from the Motorsports Industry.

For Humpy Wheeler this situation is not new. He’s seen this before in the 70’s and 80’s. But his concern in this cycle is that the numbers are much larger. “In the 70’s and 80’s I think it was even worse economically, but teams were much smaller then,” said Wheeler at the Task Force meeting. “Some teams back then were letting go 50% or more of crew members. But that was only 5 or 6 people. Today cut backs might be less percentage of the team, but could equal dozens per organization.”

The newly formed Motorsports Employment Task Force is working towards the development of a central clearing house that will support displaced workers with information and steps to guide them in their sudden career path changes. It also will provide potential employers information and access about the benefits of hiring from the industry. The group is currently developing an immediate plan of action along with a long term plan to support future workforce changes. All at the meeting expressed the urgency of taking some level of action immediately. More at North Carolina Motorsports Association

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