Ford and its dealership network are scrambling to find enough people who are qualified to work on Ford cars and trucks. There is a significant shortage in service technicians right now and many dealerships around the country are working directly with schools in hopes of luring service technicians to work for them when they graduate. A dealership called Natchez Ford is working hard to fill its vacant technician positions.
At the same time the new program helps students who don’t want to head to traditional college with another viable career path. The Ford dealership has teamed with the Natchez-Adams School District and agreed to reimburse students for tuition when they graduate Delgado Community College in New Orleans with an associate degree and Ford technician certification. The dealership does require that the students maintain at least a 2.0 grade point average.
A Manager from the Ford dealership told the school board at Natchez-Adams School District that Ford technicians at Natchez Ford earn $19 per hour as their starting pay. Top mechanics with as little as five years’ experience could make between $80,000 and $100,000 per year. Many high school students are being made to believe that college is the only path to making good money. The partnership between the dealership and the school district wants to disprove that thinking and push graduating seniors towards a career where they can support themselves and a family.
Supporters of the agreement say that it has the potential to demonstrate the power of public-private partnerships. The new program can also help the local economy by helping students who may not attend school otherwise earn more money and contribute more locally. A service technician training program in Minnesota has a 100 percent job placement rating.
Source: Natchez Democrat