Northeast joins Mopar CAP LOCAL to train next generation of dealership technicians

by jamesc  10/19/2016 2:35:34 PM -- 

NORFOLK, NE – Northeast Community College will participate in an initiative to train individuals to earn industry certification to service vehicles in Chrysler auto dealerships. The program, through Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) US LLC, is designed to develop a critical stream of highly-trained technicians to work in its U.S. dealerships. Northeast, through its automotive technology program, is one of 42 colleges to be added to FCA’s growing network of certified technical training sites.

FCA US established the program, known as Mopar CAP (Career Automotive Program) LOCAL, in partnership with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) to train approximately 1,000 students annually.

A kickoff featuring representatives from FCA US, NC3, area Chrysler dealers and Northeast was held Tuesday on the Northeast campus here, followed by a tour of the College’s automotive technology lab.

“Together with our partner, NC3, we are making great progress in expanding our geographic footprint of training sites by identifying and certifying colleges nationwide that have highly-qualified automotive programs,” said John Fox, director of dealer training at FCA US LLC. “Plans are to launch 15 additional educational sites during 2016 and we are well on our way to reaching our goal of enlisting more than 100 certified colleges by 2018.”

Mopar CAP LOCAL prepares technicians to work as Level 1 Technicians upon graduation from a certified, two-year training institution, such as a university, college, community college or technical center. NC3 certifies each Mopar CAP LOCAL school to ensure they meet the stringent requirements necessary for success.

Al Rajee, owner of Cornhusker Auto Center in Norfolk, said he is delighted the program is coming to Northeast. He said similar to their counterparts in metropolitan regions of the country, dealerships in rural America need certified technicians as well.  

“The need for trained certified technicians is probably at the forefront of our needs at the dealership. We can sell a lot of cars, but if we can’t work on them, we have a problem.”

Rajee said he is pleased the Mopar CAP LOCAL program keeps up with new technology. He said every course in the program is updated on a regular basis to keep current on newer technologies that are being introduced in the automobile industry.

Dr. Michael Chipps, Northeast president, said the College understands the value of industry certifications.

“This past academic year, Northeast students trained for and were awarded over 1,000 NC3 industry certifications in our automotive technology, electromechanical, diesel, and wind energy technology programs. NC3 has been embraced by the faculty and administration of Northeast.”

Chipps said Northeast’s automotive technology program has a rich history of working with local and regional dealers and independent repair owners to prepare students for such a highly technical career. 

The program has a high level of success, averaging 21 completers per year over the past five years; with 98-percent employed - 85-percent employed in the automotive industry in an occupation related to their training at Northeast. 

Chipps said this particular partnership with Mopar CAP LOCAL is essential in assisting dealerships in the region, especially in less populated areas.        

“This partnership with NC3 and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles will help us better deliver on the promise of Northeast’s Vision 2020 strategic plan to bring a higher level of training and engagement with industry, and continue to fill a critical shortage in the skilled workforce needed by Chrysler dealers within a 100-mile radius of Norfolk. Partnering with a rural serving community college, such as Northeast, will become a model for NC3 and Fiat Chrysler to replicate across the country.”

“NC3 couldn’t be more pleased with the successful local partnerships being formed between FCA US and NC3 leadership schools,” said Roger Tadajewski, executive director of NC3. “With 42 schools launched in the first year and almost 10,000 Level 0 and Level 1 training modules already completed, the pipeline of technician talent to local dealerships is well underway across the nation. The Mopar CAP LOCAL program has quickly become one of the most important and effective workforce development projects in many years.”

Rajee said he appreciates the work of Northeast and NC3 on this initiative.

“This wouldn’t have happened without NC3. This is also a huge commitment from Northeast to take this on. While the students are going to be the people who fuel this program, the dealers are really the people that will sustain this program. That is what has to happen. The dealers will have to step forward to sustain the program.”

FCA US and NC3 announced the partnership in July, 2015. Mopar CAP LOCAL is an extension of FCA’s traditional Mopar CAP program that has been training service technicians to work in Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, and Ram Truck dealerships since 1984. The traditional Mopar CAP includes 31 colleges training service technicians primarily in metropolitan areas of the country. The new Mopar CAP LOCAL program is enlisting schools in secondary and rural markets as well.

 

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              PHOTO CUTLINE

 

Lyle Kathol, dean of applied technology at Northeast Community College, (right) speaks with Chrysler dealers and others in the College’s automotive technology lab during the kickoff of an initiative to get more trained industry certified service technicians into Chrysler dealerships. Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) established the program, known as Mopar CAP (Career Automotive Program) LOCAL, in partnership with the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) to train approximately 1,000 students annually. Northeast, through its automotive technology program, is one of 42 colleges to be added to FCA’s growing network of certified technical training sites.

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