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UTI recently partnered with BMW of North America to support their new initiative that leverages the discipline and work ethic of U.S. Marines to produce specialized automotive technicians who will help relieve the labor shortage.
The United States is a country on the move. Vehicles pack busy streets, freeways, and highways. Close to half the country’s material goods are shipped long distances in diesel transport vehicles. Industries are growing in all directions, including high into the air and deep into the earth.
And there are no signs of stopping anytime soon.
However, America is currently being forced to slow down. Businesses that should be thriving in these economic conditions can’t grow due to a lack of skilled workers such as machinists, welders, and auto and diesel technicians.
There are a variety of factors contributing to the lack of skilled workers. Among them is a societal emphasis on four-year college degrees and the devaluation of technical education.
This could be due to the misconception that only a college degree guarantees a steady career. The opposite seems to be true as industries scramble to hire skilled laborers.
Universal Technical Institute has been well aware of the labor shortage, and has tried to minimize its effects by supplying the transportation and construction industries with highly trained technicians.
Clearly, a greater effort is required if American businesses are to reach their full potential.
The BMW MSTEP (Military Service Technician Education Program) provides exclusive training to active-duty military personnel residing at Camp Pendleton.
The 16-week course teaches students how to diagnose and service premium vehicles, and provides them with hours of hands-on training under the hood of a BMW.
BMW vehicles require specialized technicians with in-depth knowledge because they are some of the most advanced driving machines on the road.
MSTEP brings students up to speed with the latest in engine technology and mechanics. They learn the manufacturer-approved process for disassembling and reassembling high-performance engines, and the fundamentals that keep them running smoothly.
But the engine is just a component of the modern BMW. Tech knowledge in MSTEP is required to access and interpret BMW’s computer codes, and diagnose and repair electrical systems.
During the program, BMW will actively seek to help MSTEP students get job interviews at BMW dealerships.
MSTEP graduates will be recognized as Member Level BMW technicians and earn factory credentials, and though jobs are never guaranteed, that makes them suitable candidates for any BMW service center or dealership.
At a celebration honoring the beginning of the three-way partnership between UTI, BMW and Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, UTI President and CEO Kim McWaters enthusiastically stated that “with the transportation industry’s strong demand for highly skilled and trained talent, there has never been a better time to be an automotive technician.”
The benefits of MSTEP are far-reaching. It provides active military members a chance to learn a marketable skill that could jump-start their civilian careers after they’ve served their tours of duty.
Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Killea, commanding general for Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, recognized the value in helping “transitioning service members prepare for a successful career outside of the military ... and find employment as BMW technicians.”
In addition, it qualifies them to work with a premium car brand, making them invaluable resources for BMW service centers and dealerships.
BMW of North America is finding creative ways to solve the labor shortage, and they are hopeful that the MSTEP program will supply their various locations with specialized technicians and bring the military work ethic and strength to BMW.
Here's the first training program of its kind offered by a premium automotive manufacturer for military service members directly on a U.S. military base.
Making the jump from military to civilian life? Here are some resources that could help you pursue a career as an automotive tech after the military.
What does the 100th BMW STEP program class in Orlando mean for the graduates? Find out here.
It only takes a few minutes to learn about technician training opportunities.
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1) UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
2) For important information about the educational debt, earnings and completion rates of students who attended this program, and to review the applicable Gainful Employment disclosure, visit www.uti.edu/disclosures.
6) UTI graduates' achievements may vary. Individual circumstances and wages depend on personal credentials and economic factors. Work experience, industry certifications, the location of the employer and their compensation programs affect wages. UTI is an educational institution and cannot guarantee employment or salary.
7) Some programs may require longer than one year to complete.
10) Financial aid and scholarships are available to those who qualify. Awards vary due to specific conditions, criteria and state.
12) Based on data compiled from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Employment Projections (2016-2026), www.bls.gov, viewed October 24, 2017. The projected number of annual job openings, by job classification is: Automotive Service Technicians and Mechanics, 75,900; Bus and Truck Mechanics and Diesel Engine Specialists, 28,300; Automotive Body and Related Repairers, 17,200. Job openings include openings due to growth and net replacements.
15) Manufacturer-paid advanced training programs are conducted by UTI’s Custom Training Group on behalf of manufacturers who determine acceptance criteria and conditions. These programs are not part of UTI’s accreditation.
Universal Technical Institute of Illinois, Inc. is approved to operate by the Private Business and Vocational Schools Division of the Illinois Board of Higher Education.