Automotive

BMW Investing to Expand its Training in the United States.

BMW seeks to boost the annual number of technicians who graduate from the training centers it owns by around 800, says Denise Melville, department head at BMW Group University. BMW's U.S. dealerships need to add more than 1,500 technicians each year to cover turnover and new positions.

BMW owns training centers at its headquarters in Woodcliff Lake, N.J., and in Ontario, Calif.; Schaumburg, Ill.; Atlanta; Oxnard, Calif. and Spartanburg, S.C.
 
In Atlanta, BMW is building a new campus that will quadruple its training space, Melville says. The new 12,000-square-foot site will have 12 classrooms. The renovated site in Ontario will add 12 classrooms, along with a body and paint shop. BMW also is adding training space at its New Jersey center, and a new building at the Spartanburg training facility.

Honor Student Wants to Skip College, Go to Trade School, Parents Stumped

Raelee Nicholson earns A’s in her honors classes at a public high school south of Pittsburgh and scored in the 88th percentile on her college boards. But instead of going to college, Ms. Nicholson hopes to attend a two-year technical program that will qualify her to work as a diesel mechanic. Her guidance counselor, two teachers and several other adults tell her she’s making a mistake.


Fixing Automated Vehicles

As automated vehicles slowly populate selected urban areas, the question persists: Who will repair and maintain these robotic and technological marvels? "It's not something that immediately comes to mind when we think about all the research and development that comes with automated driving," says Kay Stepper, vice president of driver assistance systems and automated driving at Robert Bosch.

As a first mover in automated vehicle technology, Bosch is addressing a need that might be five or 10 years from reaching critical mass. But automakers, dealers, industry groups and academics agree that a significant gap exists in education and marketing of careers for automated vehicle service technicians.

For the past 18 months at Stepper's direction, Bosch has opened its automated vehicle testing labs in Plymouth, Mich., to electronics students from Schoolcraft College in nearby Livonia.


More Cars and Fewer People to Fix Them

It's a concern shared by most of the nation's roughly 16,700 new car dealerships whose profits are increasingly reliant on servicing the vehicles they sell, and less reliant on profits from the sales of the vehicles themselves. Dealerships are sacrificing margin on sales in favor of putting more cars on the road. More cars on the road lead to more cars in the service bays, and that means more qualified mechanics are needed.

New car dealerships sold a record 17.5 million new cars in 2016, as well as nearly 15 million used cars: 37 percent of the total of all used cars sold.

Service, parts and body shop activity accounted for 47.3 percent of the average dealership's gross profits in 2016, according to a study by the National Automobile Dealers Association, up from the 45.4 percent the previous year.


Engaging Students with Hands-On Learning

About five years ago, I noticed it was getting more and more difficult for my students to retain the information presented in my CNC Machining Program. You see, at that time, I was making widgets in class that demonstrated the basic processes performed on CNC machines. These widgets, though, had no meaning to my students because they weren’t part of anything real or usable.

The result? Students were disinterested.
One day, while shopping for a remote control (RC) car, it occurred to me these cars are like an actual vehicle, with four-wheel, independent suspension and transmissions with front and rear differentials. As a CNC manufacturing engineer, before I entered teaching, I machined driveline components for agricultural and military applications. So, as a teacher, I knew the driveline components on the remote-controlled cars were machined and closely represented a real-life driveline. A closer examination of the RC car revealed to me I could use the resources in my CNC lab to design, re-engineer, set up, program and run almost the entire RC car as a class project.
Hands-On Learning

NATEF Introduces Guide for New Automotive Instructors

The National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) has developed an online guide targeted toward automotive technicians who are interested in transitioning to an instructor role. The guide covers such teaching topics as lesson planning, lesson delivery, student assessment and useful resources for new instructors. The NATEF New Instructor Guide, which is available free to all instructors, was developed through a grant from Ingersoll Rand.

NATEF said it created this guide to help new automotive instructors be more successful in making the transition from doing to teaching. It also provides resources for instructors already in the field.


Automotive Technicians in High Demand at General Motors, Fiat Chrysler, Ford, BMW, Mercedes Benz, Toyota

100% Job Placement, $16.50/hr Starting Pay in Community College Auto Tech Programs

Parents, guidance counselors and other influencers need to understand how great the opportunity is for students with an interest in technology. In all 50 states, the demand for trained, professional automotive technicians has never been higher. “With the cost of college the way it is, the idea of enrolling in college is daunting,” says FCA’s John Fox, in an interview with Craig Fitzgerald of Bestride.com,  “The value equation relative to a career in automotive technical training combined with the earning potential is hard to beat.”

Manufacturer supported programs include:

BMW STEP Program: http://www.bmwstep.com/ 

GM ASEP Program: https://gmasep.org/  

Ford ASSET Program: https://www.newfordtech.com/  

MOPAR CAP Program: http://www.moparcap.com/  

Toyota T-TEN Program: http://www.toyota.com/usa/tten/ 

Mercedes-Benz’s Automotive Systems Technical Program: http://www.mbusi.com/employment/training/71-mechatronics-training-program-2  

Mercedes-Benz Mechatronics Program: http://www.mbusi.com/employment/training/109-mechatronics-program 

Auto Tech Jobs in Demand

Michigan's Governor Snyder to Increase Spending on Technical Education by $36 Million

Car production is booming, Michigan's skilled tradesmen are getting older and there aren't enough qualified people to replace them in a labor pool that has started to shift away from industrial jobs. So in a change of course, the state is going back to its roots and putting renewed emphasis on training welders, machinists, electricians and other blue-collar workers. Gov. Rick Snyder says the pendulum has swung too far toward encouraging students to get a four-year degree when they should also consider an apprenticeship or a community college program. "Big mistake," he said.


Automotive Industry Future will Require Innovation, Advanced STEM Education

David Cole, chairman emeritus of the Center for Automotive Research in Ann Arbor, in remarks to the Lansing Chamber of Commerce Economic Luncheon and interview with the Lansing Journal, said "the automotive workforce is aging and doesn’t have enough younger talent with skilled trades or expertise in technical fields to replace retiring employees".

"That will be problematic in an industry that has had to adapt to be leaner, more globally competitive and more technologically advanced after surviving what essentially was an economic depression," said Cole, who has spent decades studying the industry as an engineering professor and researcher.

The auto industry is in the midst of a “revolution” that will require increased innovation and more employees with science, technology and engineering backgrounds,


Motorsports Classroom Program, Pre-Engineering for STEM Education

MechNet Inc. has developed a very unique educational opportunity for STEM education. One of the programs main goals is to pique the interest of the student, by studying engineering, math and physics concepts on a real world platform. The program also helps students who may have previously had issues in Math and Science, by better relating concepts to topics that can be understood with a real world application. This program brings math and engineering to life. Students will be required to use math and science as a tool to solve a problem. All of the letters in the equation will relate to something real. The course uses the approach of, " for today’s lesson we want to solve for X, and this in the formula we are going to use," along with the data to come up with the answer. The program is based around the popular 1/10th scale remote control racing vehicle and uses sophisticated research quality testing equipment to conduct experiments. It will require the use of mathematical formulas and science principles

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