Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 24

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

Teacher Brian Kies, left, and
student Samuel Magana are
part of a high school auto
shop class subsidized by
Los Angeles dealers.
ALYSHA WEBB

TOMORROW'S
TECHNICIANS

 Dealerships combat shortage of top techs
by teaming with schools, colleges on training

L

ALYSHA WEBB
foj@autonews.com

OS ANGELES - The end-of-class bell
has rung, but three boys still are tinkering with a car on a lift in the auto
shop of the charter school run by
Optimist Youth Homes and Family Services in
this city's Highland Park neighborhood.
Finally, shop teacher Brian Kies tells the
boys to leave so they won't be late for their
next class. "It's hard to get them to stop working," Kies says.
Student Samuel Magana, 18, says he likes
the "hands on" instruction. The class has
whetted his interest in exploring a career as a
service technician, he adds.
Optimist, a nonprofit corporation, works
with at-risk young people. The auto repair
program at the boarding school for boys
teaches the basics of fixing vehicles.
The hope is that the students will enroll in a
degree program at one of the many community colleges in the Los Angeles area that offer
service tech training.
Income from fixed operations is increasingly crucial to the profitability of new-vehicle
dealerships, but finding talented service
techs can be hard. Dealerships and dealer associations are partnering with community

PAGE 24

DECEMBER 2017

colleges and other educational institutions to
train tomorrow's techs.
That investment pays off for the dealerships,
the schools and the students.

'Pay to play'
"The need for qualified technicians has never
been greater," says Pete Smith, dealer principal
at Bob Smith Toyota in La Crescenta.
Smith is offering to pay tuition for motivated
and qualified graduates of Optimist's auto class
to enroll in the Toyota T-TEN tech training program at Citrus College in nearby Glendora.
Schools that partner with Toyota agree to a
specific curriculum that includes classes and
internships. The schools must be certified by
the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (related story, Page 27).
The Citrus College program has been "a
great place for us to get technicians," Smith
told Fixed Ops Journal. He says subsidizing
students' tuition is a fair price.
"We need to pay to play," Smith says.
The Greater Los Angeles New Car Dealers
Association, to which Pete Smith belongs, has
donated $35,000 over the past 2½ years to pay
for improvements to the Optimist school's auto shop.
"This was a very feel-good thing that we saw

Climbing the ladder

Typical career ladder for service
technicians
 C level: Beginning techs; trained in
basic maintenance such as vehicle
inspection, predelivery services, oil
changes, minor brake services, tire
and wheel services
 B level: Graduates of training
programs at community colleges, other
schools or automaker initiatives; have
2 to 5 years of experience and some
diagnostic skills; perform most repairs
and maintenance; may have passed
National Institute for Automotive
Service Excellence certification tests
 A level: Master automotive technicians;
passed National Institute for Automotive
Service Excellence series of 8
certification tests or achieved brandspecific master certification level;
generally have 5 or more years of
experience; may have advanced
certifications related to engine
performance and other specialty areas
Source: National Institute for Automotive
Service Excellence

the value of," says Bob Smith, the association's
executive director. Bob Smith, a former dealer, is
Pete Smith's cousin and a grandson of the Bob
Smith for whom the Toyota dealership is named.
Like Toyota, American Honda Motor Co.
works with community colleges to train service techs.
Rio Hondo College in Whittier, Calif., is one
of the many colleges with which Honda partners. Students in the school's automotive department can apply to be part of Honda's Professional Automotive Career Training, or
PACT, program.

Changing skills
Those chosen, after a few months of study,
are assigned to a Honda dealership for onthe-job training, says Steve Tomory, an automotive technology professor at Rio Hondo.
Tomory, a master tech certified by the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, has taught at Rio Hondo for 18 years.
The skills a service tech needs have changed
over that time, Tomory says.
Techs must be able to gather data and apply
critical thinking to diagnose problems in a vehicle's electronic system, he says. That amounts to
see SCHOOL, Page 26



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017

Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Contents
Editor’s Letter
Service Counter
Legal Lane
Big verdict
Ho-ho-ho
Battery charge
Price is right
Tomorrow’s techs
Selling accessories
SEMA dreams
To the rescue
Profit Builder
Richard Truett
On the line
Letters
Real time
Feedback
After hours
Efficiency expert
Longer lasting
Shop Talk
Five Minutes With
Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover2
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Editor’s Letter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 5
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Service Counter
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 7
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Legal Lane
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Big verdict
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 10
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 11
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Ho-ho-ho
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 13
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Battery charge
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 15
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 16
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 17
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 18
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 19
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 20
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 21
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Price is right
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 23
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Tomorrow’s techs
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 25
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 26
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 27
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Selling accessories
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 29
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - SEMA dreams
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 31
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - To the rescue
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 33
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Profit Builder
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Richard Truett
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - On the line
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Letters
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Real time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 39
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Feedback
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - After hours
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Efficiency expert
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Longer lasting
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Shop Talk
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Five Minutes With
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Fixed in Time
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover3
Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202004
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_202002
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201912
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201910
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201908
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201906
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201904
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201902
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201812
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201810
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201808
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201806
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201804
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201802
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201712
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201709
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201706
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201704
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201702
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201611
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201608
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201605
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201602
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/crain/fixedops_201708
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com