Magazine article Techniques

The Next Generation of Technicians Prepare for Their Future: A Recent Survey Showed That Ayes Interns Are 40 Percent More Likely to Stay with a Dealership Than Technicians Hired by Other Means. They Are Also Brand New to the Work, Therefore Have Not Yet Developed Any Bad Habits or "Baggage."

Magazine article Techniques

The Next Generation of Technicians Prepare for Their Future: A Recent Survey Showed That Ayes Interns Are 40 Percent More Likely to Stay with a Dealership Than Technicians Hired by Other Means. They Are Also Brand New to the Work, Therefore Have Not Yet Developed Any Bad Habits or "Baggage."

Article excerpt

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For Phoenix's East Valley Institute of Technology's (EVIT) automotive technology program, a unique partnership with local industry leaders is a key to success. Due to a highly successful partnership with Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES), EVIT has been named the number one high school automotive program in the United States for placement of its students into jobs with dealerships. The support of the Arizona Automobile Dealers Association has been a unifying factor for area dealerships in working with the program and bringing Phoenix area auto dealers on board with EVIT's advisory committee. As a school recognized by AYES, EVIT has the support of major automobile manufacturers who provide equipment, supplies, and even cars for students to work on. The manufacturers and dealerships want technicians who are trained on the latest in automotive technology, and they are willing to provide the resources to get them.

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EVIT, a joint technical education district serving high school students from Phoenix's east valley, continually reviews programs and standards to ensure that the skills being taught in its classes are the skills that future employers are seeking. Its auto tech program has emerged as a model for other schools due to the strength of its involvement with local associates in the automotive industry. The program's advisory committee, known as the Business and Industry Council, consists of 29 representatives from automotive dealerships, as well as parents, students, representatives from area community colleges, and the Arizona Department of Education Workforce Development. Committee members attend bimonthly meetings to share information regarding current industry standards, to support the advancement of EVIT's cutting-edge curriculum and facilities, and to help the program continue to grow as a model of excellence.

Preparing the Next Generation of Technicians

Retention of service technicians has long been a problem for auto dealerships. One study put the average turnover rate at about 60 percent. Dealers are recognizing the advantage of "home growing" their own technicians by bringing in high school student interns through AYES. When they participate in AYES, interns are likely to stick with the dealerships that have employed and supported them early on. The dealers benefit in many ways; firstly, the AYES process ensures that the best and brightest students are selected to apply for these internships.

Also, for many of them, this is a first job, and that promotes loyalty. Students view the internship as an opportunity to get started in their career and to continue their education after they complete EVIT's automotive program and graduate from high school. A recent survey showed that AYES interns are 40 percent more likely to stay with a dealership than technicians hired by other means. They are also brand new to the work and therefore have not yet developed bad habits or "baggage." The dealerships have a unique opportunity to train a fledgling technician from the very beginning of his or her career.

Master Technicians Mentor Newbies

When EVIT students are accepted into AYES, they are assigned a mentor at the dealership where they will be working for their internship. Mentors are master technicians with extensive experience in the automotive trades. The mentors work with and monitor students as they rotate through different jobs at the dealerships. …

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