The U.S. Department of Labor (USDOL) recently approved NJ CAR’s Automotive Technician Apprenticeship Program (ATAP) as a formal apprenticeship program. This follows the Coalition locking down a $907,000 grant earlier this year from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development to launch our apprenticeship program.
ATAP is intended to strengthen the entry-level technician workforce. We are offering training to incumbent dealer employees to help grow their skill level while and also creating a pipeline of new talent from county vocational schools, post-secondary schools, and pre-apprenticeship programs to help fill the need for skilled auto technicians.
Middlesex County Vocational and Technical School (MCVTS), East Brunswick Campus hosted ATAP’s first class on September 23, 2019. The class begins to satisfy the 144+ hours of RTI (related technical instruction) required as part of the apprenticeship. The participants will also have 2,000 hours of on-the-job learning as part of their apprenticeship. Apprentices will work full time at their dealership employer and then visit MCVTS for evening classes twice a week from September 2019 through April 2020. The curriculum, written by NJ CAR Workforce Development Director Breanna Esquilin and Automotive Instructor Michael Perpente of Middlesex County Technical Schools, will focus on automotive theory and dealership process including:
• Shop safety, first aid, and hazardous waste
• Suspension, Steering, and Tires
• Heating, Cooling, and Air Conditioning
• Supplemental Restraint Systems
• Maintenance and Light Repair
• Dealership Process and Procedures
The curriculum is written to give entry-level technicians the necessary training to advance their career. Along with ASE preparatory instruction, apprentices will obtain their EPA 609 certification (needed to service automotive air conditioning systems). Apprentices will also spend a significant portion of their classroom time learning dealership process and procedures, because they must not only possess the necessary mechanical abilities, a dealership technician needs to know how to properly write up a repair order, document all warranty repairs and understand dealership risk, liability, and exposure.
While attending classroom training, apprentices will be mentored on the job. Mentoring can be performed by any A- or B-level technician that has the skills to lead and teach. ATAP has a written task list for on-the-job learning that will coincide with the classroom learning.
For more information on NJ CAR’s ATAP program, please contact Breanna at firstname.lastname@example.org.