This month, we will take a look at employment in the motorsports industry.

Racing is typically looked at from the competition perspective. How fast can they go, what does it take to get there with the ultimate goal of taking the checkered flag.

It takes many people to get there. Most of the discussion centers on the team – those getting the car ready and competing at track.

It starts at the shop, engineers, fabricators, mechanics, and painters all working on specific tasks. Pre and post-race duties are extensive during the season. There are

At the track, the pit crew will take care of refueling, tire changes and mechanical repairs. Strategy is critical to ensure peak performance.

There are numerous service providers such as marketing and public relations that support the entire organization.

Specific data on occupations in racing is not readily available. The U.S., Bureau of Labor Statistics does gather info on the spectator sports industry. This segment has multiple subsets that includes operation of auto races, racing teams and other industries that support racing.

The most recent data for the spectator sports industry indicates that there are over 500.0 million people working, at an hourly wage of $34.60, and a mean wage of $58,000.

Specific data has been assembled by various entities on motorsports and racing.

The North Carolina Motorsports Association indicated that motorsports have a $6.0 billion economic impact on the state. There are over 25,000 direct and indirect jobs related to the industry. There are more then 1,000 teams, tracks, businesses and educational institutions related to racing.

The state of Indiana, along with Purdue and IUPUI looked at their region. The motorsports cluster directly employed over 23,000 with an average wage of $63,000 exceeding most others.

The breadth of the industry moves along and extended supply chain. This includes defense and aerospace, passenger vehicles manufacturing, and those that directly supply or buy from the sector.

The intellectual and technical knowhow is transferred to other businesses helping solve problems. Innovation is critical to success in racing and this is highly valuable.

A key question is how do we expand and grow opportunities within motorsports?

Developing talent is an ongoing process. Specific education and training programs exist. They provide a familiarity with engine, bodywork and mechanical technology in specialized environment.

The goal is a well-rounded individual with communication, management, and technical skillset. Opportunities for advancement with be tied to experience and networking.

There are many initiatives that support a career in motorsports. These programs include vehicle builds, scholarships, mentoring, volunteers, and internships. Specific events at races, companies and trade schools offer a place like-minded people to connect.

Motorsports stakeholders should work together for develop the assets and resources necessary to secure a bright future for its next leaders.