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Benevolence of dealers widespread in wake of Katrina disaster

November 22, 2010

Donations of $2 million have been pledged by the National Automobile Dealers Association and state and metro associations to help people devastated by Hurricane Katrina. The CATA will match area dealership employee contributions up to $125,000.


The NADCF Emergency Relief Fund goes exclusively to dealership employees impacted by Katrina. The number of affected employees is expected to reach 7,000. 

A form developed by the NADA to submit with any contributions can downloaded at, or request the form at


The American International Automobile Dealers Association on Sept. 9 opened an online job bank named Emergency Relief Auto Jobs. The program helps displaced automotive personnel find temporary jobs across the country, including in the Chicago area.  

The Web site,, shows job postings for nearly every job at a dealership, including salespeople, service technicians, service advisors and parts counter personnel, and detailers.


"My profound sympathy goes out to the dealers and their employees who have been affected by Hurricane Katrina," said AIADA Chairman Don Hicks. "But it’s our responsibility to do more than extend our hearts. 

"I encourage all of our members to participate in the AIADA’s Emergency Relief Auto Jobs temporary relocation service."


Kelly Nissan in Oak Lawn is participating in the service with offers for two salespeople and two technicians. 

Bob Grace, a Volkswagen dealer in Baton Rouge, La., helped develop the program for displaced dealership employees.


"Money," said Grace, "is helpful to the region, but being able to offer temporary dealership jobs to displaced employees is perhaps the ultimate gesture from dealers across the country."  

The AIADA also will launch a dealer-to-dealer program to help member dealerships damaged by the hurricane.


Dealers who were not affected will comprise "SWAT teams" that will help those in damaged areas begin the process of business recovery.