SEE ALSO: Autolab USA Multi-platform Technician Hiring Proposal – Request Details [email protected]
Dealers line up to partner with Ford to mentor students interested in careers as highly trained automotive technicians
High school and college students have the opportunity to gain real-world experience understanding and diagnosing new vehicle technologies and systems at their sponsored dealers
Sponsoring Students We bring meaningful work to the communities where Ford does business
Dearborn, MI, June 13, 2022 – Ford has had a positive response to SOS – Our Student Sponsorship program which works with dealers to offer opportunities for students interested in meaningful careers as automotive technicians.
SOS programs can start in high school and are more than just skill building – it’s also about developing connections. Ford and Lincoln dealers committed to sponsoring students will offer them unique opportunities for work-based learning within their service departments, including the support of a mentor
Dealers are encouraged to sponsor automotive students of all ages to give younger students the opportunity to see their academic lessons put into practice, and to get an early taste of what can be a very rewarding career.
More than 1,000 Ford and Lincoln dealers have signed up since the program began in April and have committed to sponsoring more than 3,600 students. Ford’s goal is to see no less than 5,000 students receive this valuable work-based experience before the end of the year.
“Recruiting and retaining quality auto technicians is increasingly becoming one of the biggest challenges facing the retail auto industry today and why establishing a dealer technician channel is so important, said Frederek Toney, vice president, Ford’s Division of Customer Service.
“The average dealer will spend tens of thousands on technicians who will be trained at the dealership for 5-8 years. This program and other Ford technician training programs help reduce the time and costs associated with recruiting and training new employees.”
Ford hopes that many students sponsored through SOS will become participants in Ford’s Automotive Career Exploration (ACE) program, which is currently available in 1,100+ high schools and high schools across the country. Students at this school have access to many of the same advanced training courses used to train Ford dealer technicians, further enhancing their learning experience at the dealership.
Students employed by their sponsoring Ford or Lincoln dealer will have the opportunity to receive accelerated training within the Ford training network. For many, this program can streamline the path to becoming a highly trained automotive technician. In addition, sponsored students who are hired will receive a 20% discount in the Rotunda Technician Tool Program, easing the pathway to trade.
“Our goal is to build senior master technicians from the ground up and we do this for the customer. In the past, we had dedicated technicians waiting for other technicians to finish their job before they could run diagnostics on other problems. Here, expert technicians can cover bumper to bumper and empty tickets to get customers out faster. This increases our efficiency as a store,” said Zach Brandt, general manager at Capital Ford in Sante Fe, New Mexico.
Brandt adds, “These (sponsored) technicians are also more loyal to you and are better technicians for it. Their salary levels are based on training requirements so technicians are motivated to learn more knowing they can make a good living in this line of work.”
Dealer enrollment packages include a user manual for retailers that will reflect how best to attract, train, and retain students as technicians. Dealers will also have support from their OEM field team during their registration. Currently, the Our Student Sponsorship program is offered in the US but is expected to expand rapidly.