Fixed Ops Journal - December 2017 - 27

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

When on-the-job training of techs isn't good enough anymore

A

ALYSHA WEBB
foj@autonews.com

merican Honda Motor Co. works
with community colleges nationwide to train service technicians to
work on its Honda and Acura vehicles. It spends tens of thousands of dollars
on partner schools, including as much as
$40,000 in tools and equipment.
So the automaker counts on the National
Automotive Technicians Education Foundation to ensure its investments are sound.
"With a NATEF-certified school, we can be
sure the school is a quality school," says Brian
Moore, American Honda's assistant manager
for technical training.
While on-the-job training might have
worked for service techs in the past, today the
career ladder requires years of school and
work experience to reach the highest rungs.
Aspiring techs can acquire a solid foundation
for their careers by graduating from a school
accredited by the foundation.
Such accreditation "provides the employer
with an understanding that the student coming out of the program has the skills to be an
entry-level tech," the foundation's president,
Trish Serratore told Fixed Ops Journal.
The foundation, headquartered in Leesburg, Va., is part of the National Institute for
Automotive Service Excellence, an independent, nonprofit organization that certifies
automotive techs and service professionals.

There are about 2,300 foundation-accredited institutions nationwide, most of them high
schools or community colleges. The foundation accredits automobile, collision repair
and refinish, and medium-/heavy-duty truck
service programs.
The initial accreditation fee is $850.Renewal
every five years costs $750.
The accreditation process is stringent. It begins
with a self-evaluation by
the academic institution
based on 12 standards developed by auto industry
participants.
Standards
range from offering adequate student services to Serratore: Entry
having proper tools and techs needed
equipment.
Students must complete a series of tasks
based on these standards to graduate. Automakers add specific curricula, such as Honda's Professional Automotive Career Training
program, to meet their tech needs.
Key to the self-evaluation is an advisory
committee selected by the applying institution. Committee members include instructors
and administrators at the school, local dealers,
independent repair shop owners, automaker
representatives and other industry experts.
If the self-evaluation survives an initial review, a foundation evaluation team leader
conducts a two-day on-site inspection. If the

institution passes, it is accredited.
Each accredited institution is re-evaluated
every 2½ years. It must be reaccredited every
five years.
The advisory committee continues to meet
twice a year after accreditation to discuss program needs. In addition, Serratore says, "Advisory committees are key to a strong and active
program in the community that allows dealers
to get involved at the schools and get to know
the students."
The foundation maintains its standards
through an auto industry peer review process.
Every three years, industry experts review the
standards and student task list. They delete,
add and tweak tasks to meet the changing
needs of repair shops.
The standards track current technology,
says John Saia, a consultant to the foundation.
He is a National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence-certified master tech, a former Toyota National Automotive Technicians
Education Foundation representative and former member of the foundation's board.
"Fifteen years ago, techs weren't carrying laptops and iPhones," Saia says. "Now they need
both of those if they want to be successful."
Maintaining foundation accreditation is
getting tougher for high schools because of
the growing number of academic requirements, Serratore says.
"We need students who can read, write and
communicate," she says. 

Dealer's $3 million gift to college will keep on producing techs

W

ALYSHA WEBB
foj@autonews.com

hen Sewell Family of Cos. decided to move its Ford-Lincoln
dealership in Odessa, Texas, it
had a good use in mind for the
building and site it would leave behind.
The dealership group donated both to the
local community college. The store will be
renovated and renamed Odessa College
Sewell Auto Tech.
"The new facility will allow us to greatly expand our auto and diesel technology programs," Odessa College President Gregory
Williams told Fixed Ops Journal. "It is going to
be outstanding."
Sewell Family of Cos. operates four dealerships and has Ford, Lincoln, Chevrolet, Buick,

GMC, Toyota and BMW
franchises. Another branch
of the family owns Sewell
Automotive Cos. in Dallas.
Collin Sewell, president
of Sewell Family of Cos.,
says the donation of the
7.5-acre property and
building amounts to a $3
Sewell:
million gift. Odessa College
Giving "gift of
will spend $4 million on
knowledge"
renovations, he says. The
donation includes some service equipment,
tools and supplies at the current dealership.
The new Ford-Lincoln dealership in Odessa is
to open in the spring, Sewell says. The college
plans a 2019 opening for Sewell Auto Tech.
While the local community will benefit from

the new operation, the Sewell group will gain access to a source of qualified service technicians.
During the 20 years Collin Sewell has
worked in the family business, he says, "We
have always had a shortage of technicians."
The Sewell Auto Tech motto - "Learn, Earn,
Return" - reflects the thinking behind the
donation. It will be emblazoned on the renovated building, Sewell says.
"We decided the best use of this facility
would be to have the opportunity to teach and
develop techs for our industry and the [oil and
natural gas] industries we service," he adds.
Sewell says he envisions his master techs
teaching at Sewell Auto Tech after they retire
from one of his dealerships.
"They can pass on the gift of knowledge," he
says. 

DECEMBER 2017

PAGE 27



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
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