FCA US LLC has recruited 50 technical training schools from across the country to train the next generation of automotive service technicians for its U.S. dealerships.
Through its program – Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) LOCAL – FCA US will continue to grow this network of schools in the U.S. Ultimately, FCA US would like to have more than 100 certified training sites across the country to help its dealerships combat the industry shortage of service technicians.
“We envision that the majority of our dealerships will be located within roughly an hour’s drive from the nearest certified-training facility,” said John Fox, director of the FCA Performance Institute. “So far, FCA US has successfully enlisted 50 local community colleges, technical colleges and vocational schools that are training the next generation of highly skilled dealership service technicians.”
FCA US established Mopar CAP LOCAL in July 2015 in partnership with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) of Kenosha, Wisconsin.
“When FCA launched Mopar CAP LOCAL in 2015, we estimated that we had roughly 5,000 technical job openings in our dealerships,” said Fox. “As we continue to expand our network of training sites, we are helping our dealers to staff their service bays with technicians that already have the knowledge and the experience to hit the ground running when they are hired.”
Mopar CAP LOCAL prepares technicians to work as Level 1 Certified Technicians upon graduation from a NC3 certified two-year training institution. NC3 certifies each Mopar CAP LOCAL school to ensure they meet the stringent requirements necessary for success.
In as little as 24 months, students can earn a two-year associate’s degree in automotive technology or equivalent. Mopar CAP LOCAL graduates are qualified to handle a variety of customer pay and warranty work for FCA US dealerships.
“Mopar CAP LOCAL is one of the most forward-thinking technician training programs in the country,” said Patrick Hart, executive director, New York Automotive & Diesel Institute in Jamaica, New York. “Incorporating Level 0 and Level 1 training into high-quality, entry-level training will produce a highly skilled workforce now and for years to come. This should be the training model all manufacturers in all industries use.”
Mopar CAP LOCAL is an extension of FCA’s traditional Mopar CAP program that has been training service technicians to work in Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram dealerships since 1984. The traditional Mopar CAP has 31 colleges training service technicians primarily in metropolitan areas of the country. The new Mopar CAP LOCAL program is enlisting schools in secondary and rural markets as well.
In addition to the Mopar CAP and Mopar CAP LOCAL technician training programs, FCA US has a variety of programs in play to attract, train and retain service technicians, as well as other dealership employees. For example, in conjunction with Strayer University, FCA US launched its Degrees@Work program in 2015 that enables a dealership service technician (or any other dealership employee) and their immediate family members to earn a no-expense college degree while employed by participating dealerships.
FCA US also has introduced a technician-exemption policy that allows technicians to work one level above their certification if the technician is in training for the next certification level; launched its Mopar Top Tech program to recognize its top-performing, elite technicians at FCA US dealerships, and partnered with Snap-on Inc. to equip students in training with the necessary tools of the trade at a significant discount.