As the auto industry continues to make the shift towards electric, local dealerships have earned a reputation for providing Americans with a convenient place to test, title, finance, and purchase a new EV, but the thousands of dealerships dotted across the country also provide a major boost to their local economy. Now, with more people than ever making the switch from ICE to electric, local dealerships everywhere are doubling down on their commitments to invest in their communities and provide Americans with good-paying jobs.

The numbers don’t lie. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), dealerships employ more than 1.2 million Americans, a number that’s growing as the auto industry continues to hire more people to service and maintain high-tech EVs. And the wages and benefits that dealerships provide their employees are often far above what other industries have to offer. The BLS found that the median hourly wage for dealership employees was $18.45, and over 99% of local dealerships nationwide provide their employees with health insurance plans.

Unfortunately, some people have pushed the auto industry to adopt a direct-to-consumer sales model. However, while local dealerships, which already provide customers the option to order online, employ over a million Americans, automakers that sell directly to consumers provide a fraction of the jobs, and promoting direct sales could threaten dealership employees around the country.

It’s clear local dealerships provide good-paying opportunities to American communities nationwide and that moving in the direction of direct sales would hurt communities across the country – and as the auto industry looks to the electric future, dealerships are going to continue investing in their communities. In both times of prosperity and hardship, local dealerships will continue to be key players in the economic stability of their communities.