Merchants Auto, the largest family-run pre-owned dealership in New England, has joined the NH Automobile Dealers Association (NHADA) automotive technician registered apprenticeship program created with ApprenticeshipNH. Through this partnership, more opportunities will be created for individuals interested in becoming an auto technician with a hands-on apprenticeship program.
“During my more than 40 years of managing auto dealer service and parts departments, I have never been as excited about a training opportunity than this one,” said Drew Young, Service Director at Merchants Auto. “This program allows both franchised and non-franchised operations to expose young people to our industry and get professional training at a very high level. This is exactly what our industry needs, and the timing could not be better. My staff and I are both proud and excited that we are part of it.”
Merchants is the second dealership in New Hampshire to participate in the program, which seeks to work with students who are interested in pursuing a career in the growing and evolving field of automotive technology. Banks Chevrolet Cadillac Buick GMC in Concord was the first employer to sign on to NHADA’s automotive technician registered apprenticeship program earlier this year.
The NHADA Consortium Automotive Technician Apprenticeship program is the first of its kind in New Hampshire and will match an employer’s current need for skilled workers with job seekers looking to begin a career in automotive technology, an in-demand field with significant growth opportunities.
The partnership was formalized during the 2020 National Apprenticeship Week celebration event when NHADA signed paperwork to become an industry sponsor for an automotive technician Registered Apprenticeship program. The partnership follows the “earn as you learn model,” which is the backbone of the ApprenticeshipNH program that enables apprentices to attain skills on the job to advance professionally while acquiring knowledge in classroom instruction.
This consortium agreement gives NHADA members the opportunity to participate in the program by completing a simplified one-page agreement with NHADA. The on-the-job training takes place at the participating NHADA member’s place of business. Training focuses on gaining experience in safety, suspension and steering, brakes, electronic systems and engine performance. The related instruction that complements the on-the-job training includes two credit-bearing courses: Automotive Service Maintenance & Light Repair and Electronic Systems.
Classwork is being offered at five colleges across the Community College System of New Hampshire (CCSNH) – Great Bay Community College in Rochester, Lakes Region Community College in Laconia, Manchester Community College, Nashua Community College and White Mountains Community College in Berlin. The multiple locations and schedules provide employers and apprentices from across the state with flexibility in building partnerships and completing the related instruction.
The total funding of the ApprenticeshipNH initiative is $7.29 million with 99% funded through the following US Department of Labor-Employment and Training Administration Grants at the dollar amounts indicated: Apprenticeship State Expansion (ASE) Grant-$1.35 million, State Apprenticeship Expansion (SAE) Grant- $2.05 million, American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) Grant- $450,000, State Apprenticeship Expansion 2020 (SAE2020) Grant- $3.45 million. Additional scholarship support of less than 1% is provided by 3rd party scholarship grants for programs developed through the ASE and SAE grants.
Watch the Merchants Apprenticeship Program video: