LAKELAND, Fla. (Oct. 17, 2013) — McGee Auto Service & Tires has gone into the automotive technician training business to help assure that it can continue to offer qualified auto service in the future.
The Lakeland-based retail and commercial dealership recently launched the McGee Tire Technician Development Program. It is designed to support training for a new generation of passionate, skilled and highly trained automotive technicians, according to District Manager Kevin McGee.
"We (McGee Tire) did this because we were seeing a huge shortage of qualified technicians in the industry," he said.
Quality automotive repair performed by skilled technicians has always been a standard at McGee Auto Service, Mr. McGee said, and the training program will help assure "this standard continues long into the future."
McGee Auto said within the year-long, multi-course training path, six automotive technician trainees have been chosen to undergo hands-on classroom training and certifications. Each student was selected based on prior performance, positive attitude and a sincere dedication to McGee and their career development goals.
Each trainee was required to have been with the company for more than six months, McGee said. The future technicians were given $3,000 worth of tools to complete the course to help them specialize in each of the eight categories of Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) certifications.
Steve Novak, project director for the McGee Tire Technician Development Program, told Tire Business the classes run one week a month for 11 months.
He said tuition is $201.60 per 35-hour (one week) course and there is a fixed-fee cost of $210 per year for student ID/parking pass, lab fee, text book and on-line course work.
"This is the opportunity of a lifetime and has the potential to bring only the best talent to McGee Auto Service and Tire, offering a brighter future to many that might otherwise never have this type of opportunity," said technician trainee Robert Burry.
"I am excited to be a part of a team who invests in its people like McGee Tire has done."
"As an employer, we hope that these technicians will recognize the high level of commitment that we have given them," Mr. Novak said, "and that they return that commitment to us for several years."
He added that high turnover rate hurts a business both financially and socially so "injecting the talent pool with young, motivated individuals with a firm foundation on which to build their careers is good for all of us."
Interested parties outside of the company are welcome to apply. Mr. Novak said the "current class is well under way" so it would be "disruptive to add students now; however, the facility has the capacity to run three to four classes simultaneously."
He said the curriculum and teacher are already set so the company would just need to screen six to eight students to get another class up and running.
Mr. Novak said selected associates are required to stay with the company for three years after their training or they must either pay for the tool purchase or return the tools in good working order. At this time, he added, there is no repayment penalty on the training fees.
Interested mechanics can apply on McGee's website.