FLINT – Mott Community College’s Automotive Technology program has joined the network of Fiat Chryslercertified technical training school sites nationwide. Classes began in the winter 2017 semester and three students are currently placed at Chrysler dealerships in Southeast Michigan full time.
“Students in this program are in such high demand right now that anyone who completes the training is almost guaranteed a job,” said Dave Butke, Associate Professor of Automotive Technology and coordinator of the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) LOCAL training program at MCC. “I have placed three students in jobs through the Mopar program who are currently earning between $18 and $24 an hour,” said Butke. Experienced Fiat Chrysler technicians can earn up to $33 per hour, he added.
The comprehensive curriculum is a combination of MCC for-credit courses leading to an Associate’s Degree, self-directed online modules in the Mopar CAP program, and paid internships in the form of on-site training at sponsoring Chrysler dealerships under the direction of master technicians.
“An important aspect of the program is the hands-on experience they get from interning at a dealership while they are earning their degree,” said Butke, “they are learning in the classroom and on the job, and also earning a salary. It’s a win-win for students.”
Carr Melton, of Fenton, is currently working as Automotive Technician and taking the Mopar training through MCC. He enrolled at the College without a clear idea of what career he wanted, “I just knew I liked working with my hands and MCC was affordable,” he said. He discovered the field of Automotive Technology and found he enjoyed working on cars.
Melton had just finished his Associate Degree of Applied Science in Automotive Technology when MCC became a Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP) LOCAL training program site. He landed a job at Suburban Chrysler of Ann Arbor and started the online training modules in the Mopar CAP program.
“It was a lot of online work in the beginning of the training,” he said, “but later there were more instructor-based, hands-on classes, which I really like.” He has finished the Zero Level and Level One trainings and is currently working on the Level 2 and 3 training models. “It is a great way to keep your tech skills up to date,” he said, and a great way to advance his career.
Butke is currently working on developing more sponsorship opportunities for MCC Automotive Technology students through local dealerships. The student would be sponsored throughout their education and then hired by their sponsor upon graduation.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there will be more than 39,000 job openings for Automotive Technicians through 2024. Currently, the demand for Fiat Chrysler Automotive Technicians within a 60-mile radius of MCC exceeds the College’s supply of students, said Butke. “We are encouraging our current Automotive Technology students to consider enrolling in the Mopar CAP program,” he said.
“We are delighted that Mott Community College has agreed to join our fast-growing network of certified training sites to prepare the next generation of automotive service technicians for our U.S. dealerships,” said John Fox, Director of the FCA Performance Institute. “Mott’s comprehensive program of advanced studies in automobile maintenance and repair made it a perfect candidate for Mopar CAP LOCAL. Mott joins 50 technical training schools that we have already recruited across the country to combat the industry shortage of service technicians.”
“With the addition of Mott, we now have outstanding certified training sites in Flint, Roscommon, and Grand Rapids, with additional Michigan schools coming as FCA continues to expand its network,” Fox said. “FCA dealerships here in Michigan and around the country expect to collectively hire 5,000 service technicians by the end of 2018, and our Mopar CAP LOCAL students graduate with credentials providing an advantage to securing great career opportunities in our dealerships.”
“Qualifying as a Mopar CAP LOCAL institution gives our students more access to career opportunities, and a competitive edge when applying for these high-demand careers,” said Matt Roda, Coordinator/ Associate Professor of Automotive Technology at MCC.
Mopar CAP LOCAL prepares people to work as Level 1 Technicians upon graduation from certified two-year training institutions such as Mott Community College. “Students with good hands-on ability can walk into a dealership with this certification and they should be able to do 90 percent of all warranty work,” said Butke.
FCA US LLC, a North American automaker headquartered in Auburn Hills, established the Mopar Career Automotive Program LOCAL in partnership with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3), to train approximately 1,000 students annually, building a talent pipeline of certified Chrysler Fiat automotive technicians across the country. FCA US is a member of the Fiat Chrysler Automobiles N.V. family of companies.