WANADA’s Automobile Dealer Education Institute (ADEI) has long been the best feeder program for entry level technicians in Montgomery County, and recent expansion into Northern Virginia has created a foothold for NOVA dealers to take advantage of ADEI as well. Now, WANADA is looking to close the loop around the Beltway by expanding into Prince George’s County.
“Qualified service technicians are our members’ chief need right now,” said WANADA President & CEO John O’Donnell. “It’s harder for our Prince George’s County dealers to utilize our technician apprenticeship program as well as their counterparts elsewhere in the region, so we’re seeking to remedy that.”
Expanding the program into Prince George’s comes with a unique set of challenges, however. The model of partnering with a local community college, which has proven successful in Montgomery County and Northern Virginia, is not viable in Prince George’s, as their community college lacks adequate facilities for the robust hands-on training ADEI demands. In response, WANADA is partnering with Employ Prince George’s, the Prince George’s Economic Development Corporation, and Prince George’s County Public Schools to identify an alternative training facility.
“It’s still early in the process,” said Joe Koch, WANADA Vice President of Operations. “We’ve assembled a great team of stakeholders who are all invested in seeing this program be successful in Prince George’s, and the ADEI Board of Directors is helping us assess the various options.”
Another significant hurdle is funding. “Starting from scratch is also more expensive,” Koch continued. “The state, county and our member dealers are all being asked to contribute so that the new ADEI branch can start producing trainees as soon as possible. The more we get, the faster we can move and the more technicians we can help produce.”Download Bulletin PDF