Rad Air Employee Spotlight: Andy Fiffick, Founder
A Legacy 46 Years Strong and Growing
Andy Fiffick’s father learned his trade in the Army and at the time was a diesel truck mechanic. Andy’s father used to do side work in the garage to make extra money when Andy was a kid to support his family of 6 kids. At just 6 years old, Andy started helping his dad. He loved fixing something that was broken and making it whole again. Even from a young age, Andy had no question that automotive work would be his calling.
It was 46 years ago when Andy made his dream of owning his own shop a reality and purchased a small radiator and air conditioning specialty shop. This shop was the very first Rad Air. Andy expanded the business to include all aspects of auto and light truck maintenance, repair, and service and founded and renamed Rad Air Complete Car Care and Tire Centers.
That business has now expanded into ten auto repair locations across Northeast Ohio. In his 46th year as the founder of Rad Air Complete Car Care and Tire Centers, Andy is still doing what he loves. And, over the course of the past five decades, Andy has seen the progression of the automotive industry firsthand.
The Ever-Changing Automotive Industry
In the early years of automotive repair, Andy recalls vehicles being fairly simple to repair. There were just a few versions of carburetors, brakes, ignition systems, radiators, and other key vehicle components. As the government began to mandate emissions, the construction of cars began to evolve and become more complex. By the 1980s and 1990s, all of the automotive manufacturers were doing things their own way and the field became complex.
Today, Andy’s team handles tune-ups on vehicles that are 100 percent controlled by computers and advanced technology rather than hands-on mechanical adjustments and fixes. The talent needed to work on these vehicles has evolved as well. The technicians that Rad Air hires not only need this hands-on experience but they need to understand the electronics and science behind the high-tech equipment that is used for repairs. Rad Air prioritizes the ongoing training and education of all technicians to ensure they are up to date on the latest technology and industry best practices.
Opening the Door To the Next Generation of Automotive Technicians
Rad Air, under Andy’s leadership, is driven to inspire and attract the next generation of automotive technicians and mechanics.
“I’ve been fortunate to be involved with many vocational schools to get young people interested in the automotive industry,” Andy said. “But, sometimes, there’s a feeling that working with your hands isn’t a way to make an honorable living.”
Andy speaks at schools and talks with parents and students alike to help shift their mindset about the current state of the auto repair industry.
“I help parents uncover the possibility that their student may have the potential and gift to work with their hands and be technically savvy, and I encourage parents to let their children fulfill that dream,” Andy said.
Rad Air offers automotive apprenticeships to students, giving young people an opportunity to shadow a technician and learn and see what the life of today’s automotive repair professional looks like. Within two years, Rad Air apprentices can create a lifelong, fulfilling career without incurring any costs themselves.
Join the Rad Air Family as a Franchisee
Andy took a leap of faith years ago when he pursued his passion for automotive repair and bought the first Rad Air shop in Northeast Ohio. Today, Rad Air encompasses ten locations across the region and continues to expand.
If you are ready to make your own leap into the automotive repair industry and manage your own business, you could be Rad Air’s next franchise owner. We invite you to learn more about the opportunities that exist.