Photo courtesy of HomeTowne Auto Repair and Tire
HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire is working with NAPA Auto Parts, which created an apprenticeship program. It’s geared toward young people who are interested in entering the automotive field and being automotive technicians.
Tools are one of the barriers to entering the industry, because you don’t necessarily know what tools to buy, and it can be very expensive to get started.
Through this program, we as a shop buy a cart and $2,500 worth of tools from Carlyle Tools. Participants are partnered up with a mentor and have access to the NAPA online training center, where they watch videos, complete classes and take tests.
The apprenticeship program is built to span 2 years. Over that time frame – along with mentorship, on the job training, and classes – they should earn four ASE certifications. While the tests must be taken offsite, the aspiring technicians are able to prepare for them through available classes and ASE test prep courses.
As participants receive ASE certifications, they earn more money. So not only are they getting experience, they’re also growing their income.
There is still a great need for automotive technicians. Those who didn’t or aren’t interested in attending college can move up very quickly, if they apply themselves. Much of the training is now online, so you don’t have to necessarily wait for a class to be offered in your area like you used to.
With vehicles today being as complicated as they are, you need a way to get a good start in this field.
We find that a lot of young people are coming out of some automotive training programs without any real world experience. So, it’s almost like they’re starting over, even if they have an associates degree for automotive. Training in the automotive field is imperative.
The automotive industry is very good because it’s challenging, and there’s a lot of work with electronics and high-tech now. It’s not just changing tires and brakes. We do offer those services, but there’s so much more tied to it.
For example, many electronics are connected to the tires on a vehicle. There are sensors that produce a specific ID, antennas that pick up the signal, and modules that take that and convert it to signals for the car’s computer. All of this takes place just to tell you how much pressure is in a tire and if it’s losing air. So, this is no longer your grandpa’s car we’re working on.
Electronics are among the topics that will be covered in the apprenticeship program. Participants will also learn about a wide range of other subjects, such as diagnostics, brake systems, as well as heating and cooling systems.
Four of our employees are in this program, and we look forward to seeing how successful they will be.
This article was written by HomeTowne Auto Repair & Tire, an authorized Michelin and BFGoodrich tire dealer in Woodbridge. The auto repair shop performs various services, including oil changes, alignments and computer engine diagnostics.
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