ADEI lunch draws a big crowd to hear about auto tech education

A big crowd turned out for lunch at Montgomery College, Rockville, MD last week to hear about the plans of WANADA’s Automobile Dealer Education Institute for the spring semester. More than 70 current and prospective students attended, along with area dealers and service directors, where the topic was “Dealership Careers in Auto Technology.”

This nationally recognized training program for recent high school graduates and existing dealership employees is an “earn-while-you-learn” scholarship that combines NATEF-Certified classroom instruction in automotive repair fundamentals with on-the-job experience gained while working 40 hours per week at WANADA member dealerships. The ADEI scholarship is a two year program conducted in partnership with Montgomery College in Rockville, and at Marshall Academy in Falls Church, VA and Hayfield Secondary School in Hayfield, VA. Student ADEI program achievements can be applied toward an associate degree at Montgomery College, or Northern Virginia Community College.

The lunch featured a guest speaker, Steve McDonald, formerly of the aftersales division of Audi of America. McDonald talked about his career in the automobile industry and the future of the automobile business. He helped the students understand the importance of continuing their education, not just in the classes they take at ADEI participating schools while they are working at area dealerships, but for the rest of their lives.

To succeed, auto technicians must continually update their skills, McDonald said, especially with the ever evolving requirements of autonomous and electric vehicles. Auto technicians will be in more in demand than ever in the future, and must be trained to service the wide variety of vehicles that will come their way.

Harold Redden, general manager of Fitzgerald Auto Mall and chairman of ADEI, helped the students understand how they can “push their future.” When ADEI students finish the training module at Montgomery College, or Marshall Academy, he said, they will be positioned to acquire ASE Technician Certification credentials, the gold standard in auto technology careers.

Service managers, service mentors and student technicians came from DARCARS, Fitzgerald Auto Malls, Ourisman Automotive and Euro Motorcars, along with representatives from Rotary Lift. Several prospective ADEI students came to the lunch seeking employment opportunities with dealers.

Any WANADA dealer members or service operation directors interested in finding out more about the program can contact Billy Painter at, or (202) 236-2270