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September 1, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  










This week we received news that New Jersey will not be extending federal unemployment benefits after three extensions from Congress. The program officially ends September 4th. Gov. Phil Murphy announced Monday that the state will not use COVID-19 relief funds to extend the programs past the expiration date. While this is good news for industries that have been hurting from the labor shortage due to the pandemic, I'm not very optimistic that this will make a big difference in our industry. Some studies have already been done in other states that have shown continued issues hiring people. The industries we represent have had these issues long before COVID and extended unemployment benefits. We continue to raise awareness of this issue in our many and frequent legislator meetings and are currently exploring options to bring more employees into our industries.   Changing the self-serve law in NJ will help greatly, but we need your help!



A few weeks ago, we received notice from the governor's office that the Urban Enterprise Zone (UEZ) Reform Bill had been signed into law. The legislation restores UEZ funding which aims to encourage businesses to develop and create private sector jobs through public and private investment. If you are currently in one of these zones and sell products that benefit from half sales tax, they were set to expire 2023 to 2025 but now they've been extended for ten years beyond this. There are several benefits that your business can take advantage of if it is located in an Urban Enterprise Zone. To find out if you might benefit, see their brochure HERE



I'm sure most of you are following the news of the devastation that Hurricane Ida is bringing to Louisiana and other affected areas. There was a fear that both oil production and refineries would sustain heavy damage. Apparently, neither has happened, however, it may still be too early to tell. But based on the markets, experts seem to agree that any outages will be very short lived. My fear was that refineries would be out for more than a month, and we would see overnight price spikes ranging from 20 to 50 cents that would drop just as fast once it was recognized that there were not going to be any long-term interruptions. I think at this point we have escaped that scenario, though we will continue to follow this news closely and bring you any necessary updates. 



Last week, we offered some advice on vaccine mandates in the workplace. Yes, you are permitted to require employees to be vaccinated as a condition for their continued employment. However, in some circumstances, employees may opt not to be vaccinated due to certain medical conditions or sincerely held religious reasons. In these cases, employers must grant exemptions to receiving the vaccine, and are strongly encouraged not to terminate those affected employees. You can require employees who are not vaccinated to wear a mask while on company property and/or to get weekly COVID tests in lieu of getting a vaccine. Additionally, for the safety of your employees, you are also allowed to require proof of weekly COVID tests (although you are lawfully not permitted to seek detailed medical information or a prognosis beyond proof of testing). 



This spring, we announced a new scholarship opportunity for students of members of our association. This year was the first year we did this thanks in part to the generosity of Utica Insurance Company. Utica is the company that insures NJGCA members through the Amato Agency. The Scholarship Committee reviewed many applications of bright and dedicated students and though we had many worthy candidates, we selected four to receive $2,500 awards that were sent directly to the school the recipients are attending. The scholarship winners are as follows:


Eleni Alvarez is a college freshman at Johns Hopkins University and is currently undecided with her major. She is a recipient of the NJGCA scholarship and received $2,500 towards college expenses.

Nico Covello is currently attending Lincoln Technical Institute and is studying to earn credentials in Diesel Technology. Nico is a recipient of the NJGCA Scholarship with the generosity of Utica Insurance and received $2,500 towards college expenses.

Matthew Roche is a college freshman attending Drexel University studying Automotive Mechanical Engineering. Matthew is a recipient of the NJGCA Scholarship with the generosity of Utica Insurance and received $2,500 towards college expenses.

Jessica Twynam is a college freshman at Texas Christian University and hopes to earn her degree in Early Childhood and Elementary Education. She is a recipient of the NJGCA scholarship and received $2,500 towards college expenses.


We were also pleased to host a celebratory dinner in honor of the award recipients at Woolies Seafood House in Freehold. We hope to continue this scholarship program every year in order to help more deserving students in their educational careers. Also, we would like volunteers to participate on next year's scholarship committee. Please contact sal@njgca.org if you are interested. Pictures from the event are below:  


Scholarship winner Matthew Roche
Scholarship winner Nico Covello pictured with his parents
L to R: Joe Amato of the Amato Agency (scholarship contributor), Matthew Roche (scholarship winner), Nico Covello (scholarship winner), NJGCA Board President Joe Ocello, NJGCA Executive Director Sal Risalvato
Jessica Twynam's parents accepted her certificate on her behalf. Pictured with Board President Joe Ocello and NJGCA Executive Director Sal Risalvato


We are hoping to gather NJGCA shop owners by inviting our auto repair members to SEMA/APPEX in November. This conference is vital in order to build on the professionalism that is required to run a shop today. It is beneficial for colleagues to be together, learn together, and have fun together. We are building all of those things into what is known as industry week in Las Vegas or the SEMA/APPEX shows. I'm sure many of you not only have heard of these two shows but may have already attended in previous years. We want NJGCA members to attend together and even bring your spouse! We recently included details on a group trip we are organizing to Red Rock Canyon, 7 Magic Mountains, Boulder City & Hoover Dam a day before the conference officially kicks off in order to build collegiality amongst our members. If you are interested in more information on the conference and any other events we are organizing that week, please contact Joe Ocello at joe@njgca.org. See the announcement we emailed to members yesterday and register HERE.


Be Well -  

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

All classes held at NJGCA HQ -- 4900 Route 33 West, Wall Township, NJ 07753

Contact Nick De Palma at Nick@njgca.org to inquire about potential trainings and class dates



  News Around The State  



The Major Problems Blocking America's Electric Car Future

A pretty clear answer about how different came earlier this month from President Joe Biden when he issued an executive order setting out the goal that "50 percent of all new passenger cars and light vehicles sold in 2030" should be electric. In the order, he instructed government agencies to implement regulatory policies to achieve that goal. "There's a vision of the future that is now beginning to happen," said the president. This vision clearly does not involve making the internal combustion engine better. In response to government policies, automakers are committing many tens of billions of dollars over the next 10 years to EV development. Targets may be motivating. But no matter how much money is spent, shifting such a vast industrial and consumer ecosystem that is so basic to the economy faces big challenges, with the result that the share of new car sales that are EVS by 2030 will more likely be about 25 percent. The challenges still have to be met.



FTC to Give Fuel Retailer Mergers Extra Scrutiny

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) signaled plans to challenge acquisition deals in the fuel retailing industry, particularly when the largest fuel retailers acquire family-run businesses, and said it will more closely scrutinize franchise agreements, citing concerns raised by the White House about rising fuel prices and potential anticompetitive practices.



Op-ed: NJ Must Make Its Own Road To All-electric Trucks, Not Just Follow California's Path

Much has been made in New Jersey of a California-dictated all-electric-truck future, but this approach could actually delay progress and ignore faster, cheaper and smarter ways to reduce emissions. There is no question that zero-emission commercial vehicles are coming. Electrification of medium- and heavy-duty vehicles is promising but at a very nascent stage, with many financial and other challenges. It will also take many years for commercialization and buildout of charging or fueling infrastructure and grid capacity. Manufacturers need a national approach to this to ensure the greatest chance of success of this transition - not California's Advanced Clean Trucks Rule.


Ida Slams US Coast Harder than Katrina, Virtually All Gulf Oil Production Now Crippled by Monster Storm

More than 90 percent of the Gulf of Mexico's oil production was shut down Saturday and 85 percent of its natural gas operations, according to HoumaToday, the website of the local paper the Houma (La.) Chronicle. About 17 percent of America's gasoline supplies and 5 percent of its natural gas comes from the gulf region, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. . .Katrina's arrival caused a massive, long-term spike in gasoline prices. The same scenario could play out with Ida in the days ahead, said Phil Flynn, senior market analyst at The Price Futures Group. The storm will "slow down petroleum and natural gas exports and imports," said Flynn, according to MarketWatch. What that means for the market remains to be seen.


N.J. State Workers Going Back To The Office Full Time Oct. 18, Murphy Administration Says

All New Jersey state workers will return to their offices full-time for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic hit beginning Oct. 18, officials in Gov. Phil Murphy's administration told NJ Advance Media. Workers were originally slated to return after Labor Day weekend on Sept. 7. But after Murphy announced all state workers need to be vaccinated or face weekly testing by Oct. 18, the administration pushed back the return date to align with the new mandate.




  Energy Information Agency Weekly Retail Gasoline Prices  

Each week, the Energy Information Administration publishes a list of average gasoline prices for the previous three weeks. NJGCA will begin including this list with the Weekly Road Warrior. Remember, these prices are reflective of self-serve everywhere except NJ.




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  Classifieds: For Sale and Help Wanted Ads  

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