WANADA visits Swiss Embassy to discuss technician training

WANADA visits Swiss Embassy to discuss technician training

Representatives of WANADAês Auto Dealer Education Instituteês (ADEI) Technician Training program were recently invited to attend a workshop and reception hosted by Martin Dahinder, the newly appointed Ambassador to the U.S. from Switzerland, to discuss technical education and apprenticeship. Switzerland is the world leader in privately funded apprenticeship programs. Its 3.1 percent unemployment rate is largely attributed to the efficacy of its apprenticeship system in training workers to match the needs of employers.

The workshop format centered consisted of presentations and Q&A with a distinguished panel of experts, including Eric Seleznow, deputy assistant secretary, U.S. Department of Labor; Dan Leeds, president of the National Public Education Support Fund; Rene Steiner, president of North American Operations for Buhler Inc.; and a later remarks by Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Penn.). Some of the panel had recently visited the Career & Technical Education Congress in Winterthur, Switzerland to learn about various technical education models from around the world and the leading Swiss system in particular.

The WANADA contingent to the Swiss ambassadorês residence consisted of Harold Redden, the chairman of Auto Dealer Education Institute; Steve Boden, director of the Montgomery Automotive Trades Foundation; and Joe Koch, WANADA vice president of association operations.

The Swiss model matches up with WANADAês current ADEI Technician Development Program in using sponsoring businesses to provide on-the-job training, combined with simultaneous vocational education at no cost to the students.

–As the panel described the lessons learned from the CTE Congress, it was clear, by any measure, that WANADAês ADEI Technician Development Program is world class,” said Redden. The ADEI Technician Development Program presently works to match students with WANADA member dealerships, providing qualified technicians to them for a small financial investment.

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