Everyone Matters

May 1, 2024 | Industry

By Sandy Blalock • ARA Executive Director

Did you know that there are a lot of people out there that feel they really do not matter and others do not care about them? I visited many auto recyclers last week and I saw firsthand how many in our industry feel that way. It may seem impossible to some of us that are highly engaged in the many goings on in ARA and our state associations, but there are many out there who are so vested in surviving that they do not have the time to be involved in trade associations or understand the true value of what we do for the entire industry.

It is an essential need to feel that we matter, and we must work harder to assure that all members of ARA and our state associations feel that they matter to us, and we must find ways to engage them for their benefit. I believe that communication is the key, and we must find ways to effectively communicate with our industry members in ways that work for them on their level.

There is so much happening, not only in our industry but also in the world around us and it is sometimes hard for people to understand how that may impact their businesses. We have seen a lot of legislative focus over the last several years on areas that directly impact how we do business. These efforts, for those of us in the association management, remain a high priority for us. It is not enough to just monitor what is happening, but we must engage on multiple levels to assure our industry has a seat at any table where decisions are being made that may impact us.

At ARA we work hard to stay on top of these issues on behalf of not just our members but also the professional automotive recycling industry. We have successfully managed to ensure our concerns are heard and, in some cases, changed the direction of some legislation that now helps to ensure that how we manage and run our businesses is not over regulated.

We have established strong working relationships with strategic partners that have the same concerns we have, particularly in the electric vehicle industry. Our voice has been heard on the REUSE then RECYCLE topic and we now have others who share our concern about the carbon footprint of vehicles.

The environment should be all of our concern and our industry can and will help lead the way to a day when everyone understands that REUSE is the preferable way to help sustain and protect our world for the future.

We have positioned our industry as the experts in automotive recycling and will continue to grow our network of partners to help spread that message. This year we have had a growing participation in areas of vital necessity to auto recyclers, such as interchange to help auto recyclers list and sell more parts than ever before. We have so many knowledgeable people working in our industry that have so much working knowledge and we are trying to capture that for the benefit of all recyclers. More information and how you can contribute visit: https://www.a-r-a.org/peer-interchange-program.html.

ARA’s Interchange Committee is also working to update the Recycled Parts Guide and as part of that project, recently reviewed several dozen parts that are either missing from the Guide and/or by default were graded as a mechanical part. The Committee has suggested grading out for review to the general membership on the ARA website https://www.a-r-a.org/peer-interchange-program.html and would like to solicit your comments.

Along with all of this, ARA continues to assist our affiliates with monitoring state legislation and works closely with them to assure a positive outcome beneficial for our members. Read more about everything that ARA is doing for you in our monthly newsletter and the ARA blog on https://www.a-r-a.org/latestnews.

Do not forget to mark your calendars and plan to attend our 81st Annual Convention and Expo in beautiful Reno, Nevada, October 23-26, 2024. We will be at the Peppermill Resort with “never heard of” low room rates for conventions of this size, so plan to seize this opportunity to participate in our industry’s longest running show. We have a great show planned and this will be not only fun, but the very affordable room rates means you can bring your whole team. Hope to see you there.

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