New opportunities for individuals interested in becoming an auto technician now exist through a one-year, hands-on apprenticeship program created through a new partnership between the ApprenticeshipNH program and the NH Automobile Dealers Association (NHADA). The NHADA Consortium Automotive Technician Apprenticeship program will be the first of its kind in New Hampshire. It will match an employer’s current need for skilled workers with job seekers looking to begin a career in automotive technology, an in-demand field with significant growth opportunities.
The new partnership was recently formalized at a celebration event during National Apprenticeship Week when NHADA signed paperwork to become an industry sponsor for an automotive technician Registered Apprenticeship program. The new partnership follows the “earn as you learn model,” which is the backbone of the ApprenticeshipNH program that enables apprentices to attain skills on the job to advance professionally while acquiring knowledge in classroom instruction.
This consortium agreement gives NHADA members the opportunity to participate in the program by completing a simplified one-page agreement with NHADA. The on-the-job training takes place at the participating NHADA member’s place of business. Training focuses on gaining experience in safety, suspension and steering, brakes, electronic systems, and engine performance. The related instruction that complements the on-the-job training includes two credit-bearing courses: Automotive Service Maintenance & Light Repair and Electronic Systems.
“As a consortium sponsor of a Registered Apprenticeship, we are very excited to partner with the Community Colleges and this ApprenticeshipNH initiative and offer this opportunity to our members, as we continue to help build the automotive workforce in New Hampshire,” said Pete McNamara, NHADA Education Foundation Executive Director, and Association President. “This will complement the certificate and associate degree auto tech programs that are already running at five of the community colleges. This new program is targeted at future techs who are not able to attend the college auto tech program full time.
Banks Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC in Concord is the first employer to sign on to NHADA’s automotive technician registered apprenticeship program. “It’s fantastic that NHADA is sponsoring the hands-on apprenticeship program,” said Rick Gauthier. “This is one more tool along with NHADA’s scholarship program and the on-the-job training grant to grow future auto technicians.”
Classwork is being offered at five colleges across the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) – Great Bay Community College in Rochester, Lakes Region Community College in Laconia, Manchester Community College, Nashua Community College, and White Mountains Community College in Berlin. The multiple locations and schedules provide employers and apprentices from across the state with flexibility in building partnerships and completing the related instruction.
“Automotive technology programs are one of the most popular offerings across CCSNH. This new partnership will create greater awareness of apprenticeship opportunities in automotive technology through NHADA’s statewide reach and membership of over 500 motor vehicle businesses in New Hampshire. We’re so pleased that we’re able to build on this relationship with NHADA by adding another pathway to entry-level positions in the industry,” said Kathleen Totten, AACC apprenticeship grant coordinator at CCSNH.
ApprenticeshipNH is an initiative of CCSNH that seeks to address workforce needs in specific sectors throughout the state by creating Registered Apprenticeship opportunities within the information technology, health care, advanced manufacturing, hospitality, automotive, biotechnology, and infrastructure/construction sectors. Funded through federal grants, the program received an additional grant in 2019 from the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) to expand to the automotive and biotechnology sectors. The AACC grant will support these sectors by offsetting the cost of tuition of the related instruction and provide support to apprentices throughout the program