DEARBORN – With more than a year of successes and 3,300 new recruits logged, the Ford automotive Service Technician recruitment program – TechDrive – is poised to celebrate with 100 recognition events throughout the month of October. In addition to the 100-event celebration, TechDrive also is announcing expanded program elements for 2020.
“Ford launched TechDrive over a year ago as a grass roots solution to meeting growing demand for automotive Service Technicians,” said Frederiek Toney, president, Global Ford Customer Service Division. “It’s exciting to be filling a need for our business and our dealers, but the true surprise has been watching community connections grow. Dealers are taking TechDrive to their local schools and organizations and really creating opportunity for the youth in their community. That’s special.”
For the celebrations, over 100 dealerships will hold events at local high schools they sponsor as part of Ford’s Automotive Career Exploration (ACE) program. These events will celebrate the success of the 2018-2019 school year, but also serve to jump start the 2019-2020 school year. Schools will receive materials for their classrooms, student gifts and also learn about opportunities for internships, job-shadows, and eventually full-time employment as an automotive Service Technician.
Starting in 2020, TechDrive also is adding new program features. In January, participating dealers will begin monthly challenges to engage students and build connections throughout the school year. In May-June 2020, dealerships will wrap-up the school year with TechDrive Draft Day events, where selected students will receive full-time job offer letters from their sponsoring dealership, and/or acceptance into one of Ford’s 70+ post-secondary automotive programs (Automotive Student Service Educational Training – ASSET, Ford Accelerated Credential Training – FACT, Maintenance and Light Repair – MLR)
Launched in May of 2018, the TechDrive automotive service Technician recruitment program was Ford’s response to a growing need for skilled automotive Service Technicians across the automotive industry. This initiative complemented Ford’s Technical Career Entry Programs that have been in existence for over 30 years.
Leading TechDrive in the US are 21 Regional Technical Talent Placement Specialists placed throughout the country assigned to participating dealers in their region. The specialist interface with dealers, the regions local automotive programs and various community organizations to find ways for dealers to participate in job fairs, host school assemblies and open dealerships to tours, job shadowing and internship opportunities.
These local partnerships start with offering Ford Specific training curriculum (ACE), vehicles and components, and result in a future technician who has the knowledge and confidence to repair and maintain vehicles that are growing in complexity. In the inaugural year, 488 Automotive Programs have been sponsored by Ford and Lincoln Dealers and the students have completed an astounding 22,000 ACE courses.
One example of a TechDrive driven success took place in Huntsville, AL this spring. It was here that the TechDrive team piloted a program called the New Ford Tech Academy. For the 23 participating middle school students, day one of the Academy included hands-on work building a scaled down V8 engine from scratch. On day two, the students were introduced to autonomous vehicles, by building a smart robot car. On day three they celebrated their successes together with a field trip to the Huntsville U.S. Space and Rocket Center.
“This was such a wonderful opportunity to engage with the 7th and 8th graders in the community, and to cultivate our Ford brand and interest in the Technician trade,” said Antonietta Polsinelli, Technical Placement Manager. The program was so successful, it is now being scaled to be offered more broadly in 2020.
“The need for technicians is great,” said Toney. “Ford is committed to becoming the most trusted company and one key to achieving that goal is to be able to provide fast and reliable automotive service and maintenance. We need to help keep our customers going and TechDrive is meeting that goal and building valuable community relationships in the process.”
For more information on opportunities as a Ford or Lincoln Automotive Technician, please visit newfordtech.com, or follow us on Facebook, twitter or Instagram @newfordtech.