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November 11, 2021
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 Inside this issue
  Executive Directors Message  












I am finally back from a very productive week in Las Vegas at the SEMA/APPEX show. It's a very useful week where the whole industry gets together to attend several shows. For those of you who are interested in all of the specialty fabrications of vehicles, the SEMA show is for you. What I find more useful to my members is APPEX automotive aftermarket show and attending their seminars on what's happening in the industry and highlight the latest technologies. We attended seminars that dealt with the future of electric vehicles, the technologies involved with the calibration for the multitude of sensors used in ADAS systems, and even a few seminars on what to expect from this congress and the Biden administration. I really hope that NJGCA shop owners will consider attending next year's shows. We even took a nice day to play and had a tour of beautiful scenery and the Hoover Dam.


Last week's election turned out to be a huge surprise. Believe it or not we are over a week after the election and there are still some things up in the air because of mail-in and provisional ballots. We should have more definite results by next week, despite thinking we would have it this week. So far, the most earth shaking result that affects us is that Senate President Steve Sweeney lost his election and has conceded to Edward Durr.  He has been a huge roadblock to us on the self-serve issue, though largely considered a moderating force in the Senate. Another upset to us has been our strong ally in Assembly Appropriations Committee, Assemblyman John Burzichelli who has also lost his election. I will miss John personally as even with our disagreements we had become personal friends. Other than our self-serve policy difference with Steve Sweeney, I liked him and thought highly of him. We will now forge a new relationship with the next Senate President widely expected to be Senator Nick Scutari.



The House has finally passed the long awaited infrastructure bill and awaits the President's signature, which is expected in the next few days. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill includes $550 billion in new spending for roads, bridges, water infrastructure, freight rail, transit systems, and broadband. More importantly to us, $7.5 billion is expected to go to electric vehicle charging stations and $65 billion for upgrades to the nation's electric grid to prepare for a potential influx of electric vehicles. The bill that was officially passed cuts in half the money that Biden had said was needed for the charging stations. According to the AP, money could start flowing to the states within a month after the bill is signed, although construction can't begin until the Transportation Department approves their spending plans. Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi and Biden also were unable to land a House vote at the same time on the $1.75 trillion Build Back Better Act, which includes a bonus tax credit for union-built EVs, with many taking issue with the union-built stipulation. For more information on the infrastructure bill and its implications on our industry, please see THIS MEMO prepared by our friends at SSDA.



There has been much in the news this week regarding vaccine mandates, and quite frankly, it can all get confusing to keep up with. So here's the status: if your business has under 100 employees, no mandate is required, though you can mandate if you choose to. For more than 100 employees, employees must either be vaccinated or send negative test results every week. Few of our members fall in this category of greater than 100 employees, but some do, so we have to mention it. The reason why we must keep our eyes on this is because currently, the US Court of Appeals issued an emergency stay temporarily halting enforcement of the vaccine mandate for private employers, citing "grave statutory and constitutional issues." However, if the OSHA ruling is found to be constitutional it may be expanded to include all businesses, though right now it only applies to businesses that employ 100 or more employees. We will continue to follow the news and inform you should this ruling change and our businesses are affected. To view the current OSHA mandates, click HERE



With the holiday season fast approaching and the labor shortage persisting, many retailers are facing a crisis on retaining employees amid the busiest season of the year. According to the New York Times, Macy's is offering referral bonuses of up to $500 for each friend or family member that employees recruit to join the company. Walmart is paying as much as $17 an hour to start and has begun offering free college tuition to its workers. And some Amazon warehouse jobs now command signing bonuses of up to $3,000. Though employees are looking at higher paychecks and fewer hours, consumers face less inventory that may be harder to come by as well as understaffed businesses. Minimum wages are being raised, bonuses are being offered and holiday closures are all being used to entice employees. The labor market hears what competitors in the labor market are doing and are looking to match or even offer better incentives. The question I have is can you (those in our industries) afford to do this? I suspect the answer is no. Our industry has been suffering for years to attract employees, long before anyone ever heard of COVID.   Our issues are hiring employees at our gas pumps, at our cash registers and in our repair shops. The whole country is fighting to get employees. Doesn't this make it more important than ever for us to pass self-serve legislation? The time is now for us to bring these issues to light. To sign up for self-serve legislation updates, please CLICK HERE.



We know many of our shop owners also sell used vehicles as part of their business. This memo from MVC should be of interest to you. The MVC will be issuing new temporary vehicle registration tags starting November 30, 2021. The new temporary vehicle registration tags will include an updated design with several changes to the prior format including a QR code which will hold the temporary tag number/expiry date/type of temp, Dealership license number/dealership name/temp tag issuance date, and VIN/make/model. For more information, you can view the memo received HERE.



Our deadline for receiving donations for this year's turkey drive is next Friday. Have you made a donation yet? We are close to hitting our number from last year, but we hope to surpass that! We keep receiving notifications from Fulfill that there are so many families in need of turkeys this holiday season. Why not start the season of giving right by making a donation to a worthy cause? Click HERE to visit our donation page and make a donation! 



Finally, today is Veterans Day. On this day, we honor all current and former members of the Armed Services. I want to thank all members of our military, in all branches, past and present for their service today. We are all so grateful for your service and sacrifice.


Be Well -  

Sal Risalvato
Executive Director




  Training Class Schedule  

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


ASE Training Course - Reach Out Today!

Are you (or an employee) getting ready to take your A6, A8, or L1 in preparation to recertifying your Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through the State's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP)?  

We can help --- but we need to hear from you, first! 
NJGCA wants to hear from students interested in our ASE-prep training program, so we can gauge demand and schedule our next session series. 

As you know, the NJ Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) has always maintained a "dual-track" system to allow technicians to earn their Emission Repair Technician (ERT) credentials through New Jersey's Emission Technician Education Program (ETEP). In doing so, technicians were allowed to certify as ERTs through either an ASE-test track or an ETEP-educational class track. Starting on January 1, 2020, NJDEP amended the ETEP criteria, and the ETEP-educational class track was abolished.  

Today, only the ASE-test track remains, and all ERTs must certify or re-certify their credentials though ASE to remain in the Program. 

NJGCA has recently offered an ASE-prep class to help you get ready for the A6, A8, and L1. In doing so, students were welcome to participate in a ten-session preparatory class that covered material for all three ASE exams. We also had a handful of students who joined us only for the A8 or L1 sections.  

Once completed, students took their ASE exams with a local ASE-approved test proctor (NJGCA can train you to prepare for the ASE exams, but are not permitted to offer the actual exam - students must make these arrangements individually themselves). 

Building on that success, we are now seeking student participation in our next training series session. To make arrangements and organize a session, we need to hear from you! 

If you are interested, please email us at training@njgca.org ASAP. 

We'll record your interest, inquire on your availability, and schedule a class once we have a full complement of students.   

Only with your feedback can we gauge student headcount and participation.  

Please reach out to us today, and thank you for your interest! 

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



  News Around The State  



Biden's Vaping Tax Sparks Concerns People Will Go Back to Cigarettes

House Democrats are poised to vote on imposing a new federal excise tax on e-cigarettes-but without a tax increase on traditional cigarettes-leading some public-health experts to warn that the provision could push vapers back to cigarette smoking. The provision is part of the latest version of the party's social-spending and climate bill that could pass as soon as next week. It faces an uncertain path ahead given opposition in the Senate. The House bill includes a measure intended to tax vaping products on par with the existing federal cigarette tax rate of $1.01 per pack. It would raise about $9 billion over a decade. The nicotine tax would apply to e-cigarettes, vaping liquids and oral nicotine pouches. It wouldn't apply to nicotine gums, patches or other smoking-cessation aids approved as medical products by the Food and Drug Administration. Proponents say the measure would discourage underage children and teens from buying e-cigarettes, which aren't currently subject to a federal excise tax.



White House Acts on Supply Chain Issues

Supply chain issues at ports, waterways and freight networks are being addressed by the Biden Administration though a set of immediate and short-term actions, the White House announced yesterday. The White House said that the goals and actions "lay the foundation for successful implementation of the historic Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal. This action plan will increase federal flexibilities for port grants; accelerate port infrastructure grant awards; announce new construction projects for coastal navigation, inland waterways, and land ports of entry and launch the first round of expanded port infrastructure grants funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Deal."



U.S. Consumer Prices Jump 6.2% In October, The Biggest Inflation Surge In More Than 30 Years

Inflation across a broad swath of products that consumers buy every day was even worse than expected in October, hitting its highest point in more than 30 years, the Labor Department reported Wednesday. The consumer price index, which is a basket of products ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents, rose 6.2% from a year ago, the most since December 1990. That compared with the 5.9% Dow Jones estimate.



Biden Administration Urges Courts Not to Block Vaccine Mandate

The Labor Department has submitted a 28-page filing to the U.S. 5th Circuit Court of Appeals, which seeks to get the vaccine mandate back on track after the court granted an emergency stay temporarily halting enforcement of the Biden Administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers, citing "grave statutory and constitutional issues." The filing states that halting the mandate "would likely cost dozens or even hundreds of lives per day, in addition to large numbers of hospitalizations, other serious health effects, and tremendous costs," the Justice Department said in its filing. "That is a confluence of harms of the highest order."



Companies Rethink How to Hire

Companies are scrambling to hire employees in a labor market that has ample job openings but far fewer applicants. The struggle to find labor has some companies rethinking job qualifications, as well as the types of incentives used to attract employees, reports the Wall Street Journal. Many companies are dropping the education requirements and background checks for applicants, including The Body Shop, and CVS no longer requires college graduates to submit their grades, while UPS is offering jobs in as little as 10 minutes to some employees. In October, the jobless rate for workers with only a high-school diploma fell to 5.4% from 5.8% in September, according to the Labor Department. The rate for college graduates dropped to 2.4% in October from 2.5% a month earlier.



Opinion: Why NJ's Not Yet Ready For Roads Teeming With Electric Vehicles, Written by Regina Egea and Sal Risalvato

In 2020 New Jersey's Electric Vehicle Act set an ambitious goal of getting 330,000 electric vehicles on the road by 2025, a tenfold increase of the current 30,420. While electric vehicles are rightly being promoted as the "green" alternative to fossil-fueled internal combustion vehicles, they also present a set of unique challenges that our state is not fully prepared to meet. The practical and financial implications may inadvertently exacerbate many of New Jersey's wealth and socioeconomic disparities by creating winners and losers based on where you live or how much you make. . . The development of the needed charging infrastructure and how we pay for it has thus far escaped public scrutiny. While many EV owners of means will be able to charge their vehicles at home, what about everyone else, including those without private parking?



Lawsuit Challenging Jersey City's 1% Payroll Tax Headed To State Supreme Court

The fate of Jersey City 1% payroll tax - vital to the funding of the city's school district - is now in the hands of the New Jersey Supreme Court. The state's top court announce Monday that it is taking up the case after an appellate panel affirmed the constitutionality of the payroll tax - on Jersey City businesses or out-of-city firms that employ people in Jersey City, was enacted in 2019 - but also vacated part of a Hudson County Superior Court ruling.



House Passes Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill

After a long summer of debate and negotiations in the Senate, as well as political wrangling in the House Democrat Caucus this fall, the House of Representatives finally passed H.R.3684, the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, by a bipartisan vote of 228-206. Thirteen Republicans voted for the bill, and six Democrats voted against the bill. The $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill includes $550 billion in new spending for roads, bridges, water infrastructure, freight rail, transit systems, the electric grid and broadband. NACS supports this bill and urged House members of Congress to support the bill in a letter sent by NACS, NATSO and SIGMA earlier this fall.



Biden Vaccine Mandate on Hold for Now

The 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Saturday granted an emergency stay temporarily halting enforcement of the Biden Administration's COVID-19 vaccine mandate for private employers, citing "grave statutory and constitutional issues." . . . The Department of Labor said it would defend the rules in court. The attorneys general of Louisiana, Mississippi, South Carolina Texas and Utah, joined with several private companies Friday in challenging the mandate before the 5th Circuit. Additional legal challenges were waged by other states in other circuits.



Winter Heating Bills Loom as the Next Inflation Threat

With consumers already dealing with the fastest price increases in decades, another unwelcome uptick is on the horizon: a widely expected increase in winter heating bills. After plunging during the pandemic as the global economy slowed, energy prices have roared upward. Natural gas, used to heat almost half of U.S. households, has almost doubled in price since this time last year. The price of crude oil - which deeply affects the 10 percent of households that rely on heating oil and propane during the winter - has soared by similarly eye-popping levels. And those costs are being quickly passed through to consumers, who have become accustomed to cheaper energy prices in recent years and now find themselves with growing concerns about inflation this year.



Trucking Industry Hails 'Huge Victory' After Labor Secretary Says Most Truckers Will Be Exempt From Biden's Vaccine Mandate

Truckers hailed victory on Friday after Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said in an interview that most drivers will be exempt from President Biden's vaccine and testing mandate, CNBC reported. Walsh's comments came in response to criticism from the trucking industry against a policy announced by The White House on Thursday that will require millions of workers to be fully vaccinated or get tested regularly. The new rules are set to come into effect on January 4. The rule applies to the federal government workforce and anybody working for a company with more than 100 employees, The White House said.



Why Do NJ Gas Prices Vary So Much From Station To Station?

The average price for a gallon of regular gasoline is around $3.44 in New Jersey right now, according to GasBuddy. That obviously means you can find prices both below and above that mark throughout the state. But you don't have to travel great lengths to do so. Numerous factors go into pricing at New Jersey's gas stations - some are obvious, others are not. Learning more about the marketplace may actually help you predict where you'll find the best prices, for the best stuff, on your daily commute. "Yes, there is a difference in quality. However, not a great difference," Sal Risalvato, executive director of the New Jersey Gasoline, Convenience Store and Automotive Association, told New Jersey 101.5. . . Unbranded gasoline is being purchased by the retailer at about 10 cents per gallon less than what's being paid by the big names, according to Risalvato. Over time, Risalvato said, filling up on only the cheaper brands has the potential to impact your vehicle. "Those gasolines do not have any kind of detergent factors injected at the time the truck is loaded, that help prevent buildups in your injector systems," he said.



OSHA Releases Workplace Vaccine Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) today issued a requirement that employers with 100 or more employees mandate that all of their employees be fully vaccinated no later than January 4, 2022, or implement a policy allowing for weekly testing. The rule also requires that all unvaccinated workers wear a face mask on the job and submit to weekly testing. The mandate doesn't apply to employees who work remotely or exclusively outdoors.




  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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