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Chrysler to Triple Technician Training Schools

by David Zatz on

Larry Vellequette of Automotive News today reported that FCA US will increase the number of schools certified to train Mopar technicians from 31 to 100 by 2017.

The company certifies community colleges, technical schools, and other institutions to train mechanics so they can do warranty work. This follows a pilot program in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a traditional Jeep town. The National Coalition of Certification Centers is certifying the curriculum to be used at schools around the country.

Some time ago, sources within Chrysler had told Allpar that they felt they needed to draw from a wider geographical base.  Likewise, dealership personnel have told Allpar that they can’t have longer hours because of the lack of qualified technicians, and have been frustrated by not having as many good mechanics as they need.

According to John Fox, FCA’s head of dealer training, two levels of training will be combined, and students will graduate after two years with a Level One warranty certification. They can work one level above their certification when under supervision, so they will be able to do midlevel warranty work immediately.

Automotive News wrote that FCA needs to add 5,000 warranty techs to 2018 just to keep up with increased sales. As technicians retire or move to other companies or careers, this is a challenge — though one that is being met; according to the article, FCA has added a thousand technicians in the first half of this year.

Even as FCA worked on this program, they also partnered with one of the country’s more reputable large for-profit schools, Strayer University, which will let techs get a four year college degree at participating dealerships, at no cost to themselves.

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