Ford technician training has evolved quite a bit in recent months, with the automaker sending out new “see what I see” headset diagnostic tools, paying techs to submit photos of quality issues, introducing EV training at the Universal Technician Institute (UTI), and sending salespeople, technicians, and parts employees to its new “Electric University” EV training school at a classroom near The Blue Oval’s Dearborn, Michigan headquarters. Now, Ford technician training is evolving once again along with the launch of three new Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) programs at select community colleges and technical schools across the nation.
ASSET – a collaboration between Ford Motor Company, Ford and Lincoln dealers, and select community colleges and technical schools – aims to provide dealerships with technicians that are highly trained in the automaker’s service technologies and diagnostic and repair methods. This year, three new ASSET programs will become available at Pima Community College in Tucson, Arizona, Wake Technical College in Raleigh, North Carolina, and Gwinnett Technical College in Lawrenceville, Georgia.
The revised ASSET program now includes Mobile Service Technician Certification and special EV training courses including High Voltage Systems Safety, Hybrid Vehicle Components and Operation, Battery Electric Vehicle (BEV) Components and Operation, and an introduction to High Voltage Battery Service, as well as a Ford instructor-led class on Hybrid and Electric Vehicle Operation and Diagnosis. Ford has provided 25 plug-in hybrid and battery electric vehicles to ASSET locations so students can receive hands-on training.
Over the course of two years, ASSET students can earn up to 100 percent of Ford’s Service Technician Specialty Training (STST) credentials, an associate’s degree in Automotive Technology, and have one-year of work experience at a Ford or Lincoln dealership. ASSET graduates also can achieve Ford’s High Voltage Systems Certification, in addition to the 12 certifications the program already offers.
“The ASSET program puts these kids in in the classroom and then in the stall applying it. To me getting those two at the same time is going to give a dealer better technician retention and the student a better understanding of the information,” said Josh Fichter, General Manager, Five Star Ford in North Richland Hills, Texas. “It also breeds loyalty because if you’re not proactively growing your own technicians right now, you’re going to be in a world of hurt.”