Nearly every dealership in the country is facing the same problem: the nationwide technician shortage. Over twenty years ago, WANADA members collaborated to address this issue by reformatting the Automobile Dealer Education Institute (ADEI) into a program tailored to assist in developing your technician pipeline. With summer break upon us, it is the prime time to begin assessing your service department’s needs if you wish to capture any of the apprentice candidates WANADA will be deploying for interviews over the next two months.
The ADEI apprenticeship program can work two different ways. First, we can bring you entry level technicians to interview and you can decide whether or not to hire and then enroll them in training. The second is to identify promising candidates in your shop (either a porter or entry level tech) that you think could benefit from formal training and enroll them.
The only commitment from the dealership is to assign the apprentice a mentor who will help oversee their progress through the training and then support the apprentice’s education to the tune of $1,200 per semester. Over the two years of the program, the total financial commitment is only $4,800. Compared to other tech schools or even most OEM training programs, this is far less expensive because WANADA offsets approximately 80% of the total program costs as a benefit to our dealer members.
Our pre-screened candidates interview for positions in your service department and, if hired, your new apprentice then works under the supervision of a mentor and attends classes one day per week at either Montgomery College in Rockville, MD, Northern Virginia Community College in Alexandria, VA, or at our newest training site at Crossland High School in Camp Springs, MD. Instruction consists of four modules which are roughly equivalent to academic semesters and also entail one hour of factory training per week. Completion of all four modules (a two-year process) provides the competency needed for participants to successfully pass the ASE Certification exams.
WANADA staff regularly visits and communicates with the candidate, the college instructors, key dealership personnel and the mentor over the entirety of the 2-year program to ensure all parties are working together toward developing the apprentice into a confident and capable member of your service team.
If you are not currently participating with ADEI and would like to learn more, contact WANADA’s Director of Education Joe Hemberger at firstname.lastname@example.org or 267-346-1700. You can also visit our website at www.adei-programs.org.