On Wednesday, August 23, WANADA executives, dealers, college officials, community leaders and participating service managers gathered with new and existing technician apprentices to kick-off the 2023 fall semester of the Automobile Dealer Education Institute (ADEI).
ADEI Chairman Harold Redden of Fitzgerald Auto Malls welcomed the attendees and highlighted how the program continues to thrive in addition to challenging the incoming apprentices to take advantage of the unique opportunity they were being offered. Director of Education Joe Hemberger also spoke to the students, challenging the new apprentices to “work hard and dream big.”
“We have the largest dealer-sponsored automotive apprenticeship program in the country,” said WANADA Vice President of Operations Joe Koch in later remarks. “Many groups sponsor scholarships or conduct for-profit automotive training, but no one is providing young people with a job, education, tools and mentorship, all for no cost to the student. What’s more, the program simultaneously helps dealers with your technician pipeline. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.”
In addition to the apprentices and industry representatives who had gathered, several community leaders who support the program financially and officials from the Maryland Department of Labor were present. They were able to meet with incoming students, but also witness several apprentices who had completed the program receive their certificates and discuss the great opportunities for career advancement that ADEI had afforded them. Zach Jones, the current service director for Fitzgerald Genesis, spoke to the crowd about how ADEI helped him learn the trade and eventually climb to the position he is in now. “This is a great program and I’m thankful for what it’s done for my life,” he concluded.
ADEI helps aspiring, entry-level technicians find jobs at local dealerships. Once hired, the dealer then sponsors the technician’s education at one of WANADA’s three training sites, where they go to class one day per week. The curriculum is certified by the ASE Education Foundation and includes manufacturer training as well. After two years, the apprentices have enough classroom education and on-the-job training to become ASE-certified master technicians. The dealership pays a portion of the tuition by sponsoring each apprentice, but the vast majority of the program costs are covered by WANADA as a member service.
If you are interested in learning more about ADEI to see if it would be a good fit for your service department, please contact Joe Hemberger via phone or email: 267-346-1700; email@example.com.Download Bulletin PDF