Monroe Community College and Toyota Motor Corp. are overhauling their affiliation to address a shortage of highly skilled technicians.
Joseph Myers, Toyota Technician Training and Education Network field manager, was on hand Wednesday to announce an upgrade to the program in order to provide more apprenticeship opportunities, give students more hands-on experience and provide dealerships with high-skilled technicians.
“The T-TEN program at MCC has been redesigned to not only provide highly trained and skilled technicians for the Toyota and Lexus dealers, but to give the students a jump-start to a very good career,” Myers said.
In its January 2015 report, Measuring Middle-Skills Occupational Gaps within the Finger Lakes Region, MCC projected more than 230 job openings annually in automotive technologies. Nationally, automotive service technician job openings are expected to increase by more than 60,000 between 2012 and 2022, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
To address the skills shortage, Toyota has been working with MCC and 34 other community colleges nationally to redesign its T-Ten programs to align with current industry standards. MCC has teamed with the automaker since 1987 to offer the T-TEN degree program.
“Toyota has been a strong partner with MCC in ensuring students receive the best preparation for a high-demand career in the automotive field,” MCC President Anne Kress said in a statement. “The T-TEN program creates a robust career path for our students, providing them with real-world experience and equipping them with skills that match industry standards.”
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2013 there were 604,990 workers classified as automotive service technicians and mechanics nationally, with a mean salary of $39,450. Within New York, some 34,160 people were employed in the field, earning $39,820 annually, the RBJ reported last year.
Under the redesigned program students will be provided with jobs at Toyota and Lexus dealerships before they begin the program, unlike the current process, which dictates that students seek their own apprenticeship opportunities after they enroll. During their two years at MCC they will be employed as apprentices at the dealerships, with the goal of being hired upon graduation.
Students also will alternate between eight weeks in classes and labs and eight weeks in paid apprenticeships. Students also will spend more time on hands-on learning and less time in the classroom under the revamped program.
“MCC is committed to the success of the T-TEN program in support of our students and helping employers and our region’s economy grow,” Kress said.
MCC offers a similar program for students interested in working for General Motors Corp. dealerships, as well as a non-manufacturer specific automotive technology program.
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