Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F30

FIXED OPS JOURNAL

David Lopez is among
the first students in a
technician training
program BMW operates
at the Camp Pendleton
Marine base.

ALYSHA WEBB

 BMW opens center on Marine base to train leathernecks as techs

TWO KINDS OF SERVICE

C

ALYSHA WEBB

AMP PENDLETON, Calif. - After 23
years as an active-duty Marine, David
Lopez is preparing to retire. He already
is making plans for his next posting.
Lopez, 44, is a member of the inaugural
class in a program sponsored by BMW of
North America that aims to train military veterans to become service technicians. "My goal
is to work in a BMW dealership," Lopez says.
As dealerships face a shortage of techs, they
are looking for new sources of qualified candidates. BMW thinks it has found one in military
personnel who are preparing to leave the service. In February, the automaker opened a
center on the Marine base here.
"We have high demand for technicians,"
Bernhard Kuhnt, CEO of BMW of North
America, told Fixed Ops Journal. Veterans, he
says, make "ideal" tech candidates.
BMW calls the initiative at Camp Pendleton, near San Diego, its Military Service Technician Education Program. It offers a 16-week
course of instruction, based on the program

PAGE 30

BMW Group University, which provides training to BMW dealerships.
A transition from active duty can be daunting,
says Brigadier General Kevin Killea, the commanding general of Marine Corps Installations
West - Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton.
"All they know is the uniform," Killea says. "Here
is an opportunity for a skills development program that will lead to a direct [job] placement."

foj@autonews.com

APRIL 2018

Kuhnt: Vets are "ideal" tech applicants.

of the same length BMW uses at its other tech
training locations.
Members of other service branches can enroll in MSTEP, although the program gives priority to Camp Pendleton Marines. The inaugural class of nine students includes seven
Marines and two U.S. Army soldiers. BMW is
covering the cost of the program, which the
automaker declined to disclose.
BMW expects the new program to help fill
some of the 1,500 vacant and new service tech
positions at its 344 U.S. dealerships each year,
says Denise Melville, department head of

Other programs
BMW says MSTEP is the first automotive
tech training program to be located on a military base. Other automakers also have programs that instruct veterans.
Ford Motor Co.'s Trading One Uniform for
Another program, supported by its Quick
Lane express service division, awards five
$10,000 scholarships to veterans each year to
support technician training. Mercedes-Benz
also offers training to veterans through its
16-week DRIVE program.
At Camp Pendleton, members of the
see MARINES, Page 31



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018

Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - Intro
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F1
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F2
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - Contents
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F4
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F5
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F6
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F7
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F8
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F9
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F10
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F11
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F12
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F13
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F14
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F15
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F16
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F17
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F18
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F19
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F20
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F21
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F22
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F23
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F24
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F25
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F26
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F27
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F28
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Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F30
Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F31
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Fixed Ops Journal - April 2018 - F44
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