On January 27 at NADA Show 2023 in Dallas, officials from the National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), National Urban League, and Urban League of Louisiana announced the February launch of a pilot service technician apprenticeship program in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana.
NADA is partnering with the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association (LADA) and the Urban League of Louisiana’s Office of Workforce Development to place aspiring technicians into apprenticeship roles in local Louisiana dealerships. The NADA Foundation is providing resources for the initiative.
“This pilot program is the first step in what we hope will one day be a national program to recruit, train and place trained technicians in dealerships across the country,” said NADA Foundation chairwoman Annette Sykora, owner of Smith Auto Family in Levelland, Texas. “Working with our Urban League partners, we will identify aspiring technicians, train them at a participating dealership and community college, and place them into critical work at Louisiana Dealerships. Our vision is to create a program that can scale anywhere.”
Up to 20 candidates will be selected by the Urban League of Louisiana and will start with the League’s four-week professional and life skills training program in February. They will then be placed with participating dealerships where they will shadow dealership employees while they are taking technician classes in automotive technology programs at either Baton Rouge Community College or Delgado Community College.
“We are excited that this important workforce development program is taking root in Louisiana through the Urban League of Louisiana, National Urban League, and National Automobile Dealers Association,” said Urban League of Louisiana President and CEO Judy Reese Morse. “This is yet another opportunity for our local technicians to develop and this program creates equitable pathways for a stronger and more innovative automotive industry in our state.”
Upon completion of the training and shadowing, they will begin working at those dealerships as technician apprentices. The apprenticeship program will run for approximately 18 months and include both ASE and OEM certifications.
“As a proud son of Louisiana, I’m especially pleased to be launching this innovative and exciting new partnership here,” National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial said. “A diverse workforce that has equitable access to training and opportunity is a key element to a dynamic and resilient economy, and creative organizations like the National Automobile Dealers Association are helping to lead the way.”