New education initiative helps auto industry build workers from the ground upThe NFL has the college gridiron and Major League Baseball has its minor league system from which to draw a steady stream of skilled workers.But because of technological advancements and long-standing practices, there is no such pool of trained workers from which buy tramadol online companies - as well as those who service their equipment and products - can keep the labor pipeline flowing freely.tramadol generic is that more true than in click here automotive. there. buy adderall buy valium. first AYES program in the state was unveiled last month at Platt RVTS in Milford. Designed as "a model for career-based education" in the U.S., it is fashioned after the European apprenticeship system.
Its mission is to "be the catalyst in the development of school-to-work automotive educational programs at the high-school level on a nationwide basis, bringing together business (dealerships) and educational systems, providing a source for qualified entry-level technicians and other service personnel for automotive dealerships; and to leverage all internal and external sources to improve the image of the automotive technician and the automotive industry as a whole, creating respect and esteem for the service field and its career path potentials."
In plain English, it means they're going to grow their own workforce.
Gone are the days when you could find a mechanic competent to fix your car on nearly every street corner or in any gas station. Most places where you can buy gas today don't even offer repair services.
Guy Casella, service director, and Ken Pfeiffer, shop foreman, at Dan Perkins Chevrolet in Milford, were two of the dealership representatives who attended the program kick-off, along with manufacturers such as General Motors and Daimler/Chrysler Motors Corp.
"It's a dying trade," Casella says. "It's hard to find young people who are interested in it, partly because of the perception many have of it.
"Most young people don't realize it's become a very sophisticated trade. The image of the 'grease monkey' is long gone," Casella says, "and they don't even call them auto mechanics any more. They're service technicians."
According to Pfeiffer, gone as well are the days when you could bring your car to a handy friend and he could fix it under a tree in his yard.
"Today's service technician has to be an electrician, a plumber and an engineer as well as computer-literate," Pfeiffer notes.
"Today's car has more on-board computers than the first space shuttle did," Casella explains, "and those who work on today's cars need to know so much more than yesterday's mechanics knew."
The AYES program is a true partnership between manufacturers, dealers and schools.
Daimler/Chrysler, Toyota Motor Sales/USA, Volkswagen America and the National Institute for Automotive Excellence (ASE) have joined the initiative. Other manufacturers have likewise been invited to participate. Snap-on Tools Corp. has joined and will offer a tool scholarship to qualified students.
Currently, there are more than 100 AYES programs in operation across the country, including 12 in New England.
The program's three principal thrusts are public image, connecting businesses and schools and the quality of the dealership environment. The dealerships provide "shadowing" opportunities and paid work internships.
"We've been involved in Platt's shadowing program for two years," Casella says, "but this program goes beyond that."
Schools that want to become involved in the program must be ASE-certified. ASE-certified programs must meet very strict industry standards for tools, equipment and facilities, instructors' qualifications, minimum hours of instruction, student services, learning resources and other aspects of a quality education.
AYES certification is nationally recognized as evidence of a top quality training program.
Each program also must establish a local advisory council, which Casella was asked to chair at least for the first year.
Platt is the first school in Connecticut to qualify for the program, says James Aiken Sr. of Automotive Technical Education Consulting (ATEC) in Shelton, the program's local facilitator.
"There's a critical nationwide shortage of trained personnel in the automotive field," Aiken notes, "and this is an industry initiative to address the need for programs that will produce trained individuals.
"The manufacturers are working together on this instead of trying to outsell each other because it's a problem that affects them all," Aiken adds.
Call enlightened self-interest. "When you put an ad in the paper for service technicians, nobody shows up," says Walt Dunsing, service manager for Milford Jeep, "so we're very interested in this program."
Students graduating from the Platt program can expect to move directly into full-time employment at a dealership. In addition, according to AYES, the majority of dealerships participating in the first year also plan to send students to post-secondary, factory-based educational programs such as GM's ASEP, Daimler/Chrysler's CAP and Toyota's T-Ten.
Local dealerships that have signed on for the initiative include Dan Perkins Chevrolet-Oldsmobile, Dan Perkins Subaru, Milford JEEP, Napoli Pontiac-Nissan, Zee Buick-GMC, Stevens Ford-Lincoln-Mercury, Stevens Chrysler-Plymouth-Dodge, Courtney Honda, Colonial Toyota, Key Hyundai, Acura of Milford and Connecticut's Own Volvo-Mazda, all of Milford, as well as D'Addario Buick-GMC-Nissan of Shelton and Curran VW-Isuzu of Stratford.
"The program is a win-win situation for everyone involved, especially students like those enrolled in Platt's automotive technician's course," says B.K. Sanders, sales and service district manager for Daimler/Chrysler.
"The demand for qualified workers far outweighs the supply," Sanders adds.
To help recruit students to join the automotive technicians programs, AYES also provides dealerships with educational materials and urges the dealers to participate in career days at local junior and senior high schools and to hold open houses for educators, student groups and parents.
Perhaps one of the most important goals of the program is to encourage dealerships to make their shops attractive places in which to work - not only the physical working conditions, but also compensation plans and benefits.
The students think it's a good program, too.
Says Platt senior Bart Asarisi, 17, of New Haven, "It will let students work with state-of-the-art equipment and work with the master technicians on a daily basis."
For further information about the AYES program, contact ATEC at 203-929-0281.