Program to offer pipeline of new talent
Wentzville, Mo.—Starting in January 2018, students enrolled in the automotive technology program at Ranken Technical College-Wentzville will automatically be dually enrolled in a program in partnership with NC3 (National Coalition of Certification Centers) and FCA US (Fiat Chrysler Automobiles).
Known as Mopar CAP (Career Automotive Program) LOCAL, it will train approximately 1,000 students annually nationwide.
“Together with our partner, NC3, we are making great progress in expanding our geographic footprint of training sites by identifying and certifying colleges nationwide that have highly qualified automotive programs,” said John Fox, director of Dealer Training at FCA US. “Plans are well underway to reaching our goal of enlisting more than 100 certified colleges by 2018.”
NC3 is a network of education providers and corporations that supports, advances, and validates new and emerging technology skills in the transportation, aviation, and energy industry sectors. NC3 develops, implements and sustains industry-recognized portable certifications built on national skill standards.
Mopar CAP LOCAL prepares students to work as Level 1 Technicians upon graduation from a certified, two-year training institution, such as a university, college, community college or technical center, Fox said. NC3 certifies each Mopar CAP LOCAL school to ensure they meet the stringent requirements necessary for success.
“NC3 couldn’t be more pleased with the successful local partnerships being formed between FCA US and NC3 leadership schools,” said Roger Tadajewski, executive director of NC3. “With more than 55 schools launched in the first year and a half and more than 43,000 Level 0 and Level 1 training modules already completed, the pipeline of technician talent to local dealerships is well underway across the nation. The Mopar CAP LOCAL program has quickly become one of the most important and effective workforce development projects in many years.”
FCA US and NC3 announced their partnership in July 2015. 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 Truck 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.
Tim Michel, department chair of the Automotive Technology and Diesel Repair programs at Ranken, initiated talks with FCA US and NC3 to get the school affiliated with the program.
“I had heard about the program and thought it would be a great addition to our school’s existing program. This program is going to allow students to leave with something that is not available anywhere else in our area. These students are going to have an extra certification that will now allow extra job opportunities once they complete the program,” Michel said.
Most of the additional training to become Level 1 certified will be completed online.
“Much of the training program will be online courses that will supplement the normal training being received, but there will also be instructor led lessons as well,” he added.
Another facet to the program is going to be the student’s ability to earn while they learn.
“This program will work in conjunction with our eight-week on, eight-week off program. Essentially, students will be working for established dealerships in our area who agree to work with the scheduling of this program. This way, we can evaluate them additionally with feedback from the employer’s perspective, as well. This will help us to work with the students to improve on areas where they may need some guidance,” Michel said.
Once completed, the CAP certification does not expire. It is a lifetime certification.
“Students may decide to take employment wherever they wish once they graduate, but now, if they so choose to pursue a job with an FCA dealership in the future, this follows them wherever they go. It gives our students a competitive edge within the talent pool”, he said.
Ranken was chosen for this program based on the following by NC3 and FCA:
• Commitment - from the presidential level on down
• NATEF certification
• Current program - what curriculum and how it is delivered
• Faculty - dedication and qualifications of faculty
• Facility - meeting today’s standards for experiential learning
• Soft skills - incorporating professionalism and critical communication skills
• Imaging - displaying high-quality images throughout facility showcasing key partnerships
Michel added, “We were very excited to be a chosen for this program and we are looking forward to seeing the success of our students as well as building more relationships with our area dealerships and service centers.”