Governor Cuomo announces new task force to develop educational programs to attract and train automotive technicians.
New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo on Saturday announced the creation of a new task force that will develop programs for training auto technicians and enabling participants to directly transition into the industry. The Governor made the announcement of the Excelsior Automotive Technician Task Force at the opening of the New York International Auto Show, which runs from April 19-28 at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City.
“One of the things we’re going to do here in this state is change our education system, where the State University of New York is going to offer specialized training in tandem with the manufacturers so that you can go to school and come out as a Nissan-certified technician or a Honda-certified technician or a BMW technician,” Governor Cuomo said. “We have over 75,000 technician jobs that are good jobs, high-paying jobs, and we want to educate New Yorkers for those jobs right here in New York. This new task force will set us on that path.”
“We want to make sure that all New Yorkers receive the skills they need to fill jobs in various industries across the state,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. “This task force will ensure individuals have access to programs that will train them to be prepared for jobs in the auto industry, teaching them how to work on specific car manufacturers. The Excelsior Automotive Technician Task Force continues our efforts to provide workforce development opportunities in a range of industries so that New Yorkers can close the skills gap and lead their best lives.”
Many current vocational programs offer a generalized technician program, however training that is more specific offers benefits to both students and companies. Typically, auto manufacturers require a unique training program to teach prospective technicians how to work on their vehicles. This work is currently happening at several SUNY schools where they are working with automotive companies like Subaru, Tesla and Toyota.
The Governor directed the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to take the lead in organizing the Excelsior Automotive Technician Task Force, which will also strive to create opportunities to enhance diversity within the industry.
“We applaud Governor Cuomo for this innovative approach to strengthen New York’s competitive edge in training workers for the jobs of tomorrow,” Acting DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder said. “We look forward to working with all stakeholders to create a positive program that will benefit students and industry and ultimately the people who buy and drive cars.”
The Task Force will convene stakeholders from the automotive, labor, manufacturing and academic arenas to address the following areas in the marketplace:
- Improve the current automotive technician curricula at the secondary and higher education levels to ensure it is keeping pace with technology;
- Identify and improve current training models and facilities to ensure they reflect modern workforce needs;
- Replicate and scale best practices and educational models to reach dealers and potential technicians in online space;
- Develop and implement professional development programs for teachers and college professors to ensure they are aligned with market needs;
- Create new veteran and women specific campaigns to broaden the diversity of the workforce;
- Develop and invest in new re-training programs and apprenticeships to enable new and older workers to continue their careers; and
- Explore options with correctional institutions to create an automotive technician reentry program.