We need more skilled workers.
That was the resounding chorus of 20 representatives from various Ford Motor Company dealerships who spoke to the current class of New Community Workforce Development Center’s Automotive Technician Employment and Training Program.
Hailing from around New Jersey and New York, representatives like Brian Daniell of Liccardi Ford Lincoln in Watchung explained how his service center has 20 bays but only 12 employees to cover them.
“We have a very strong need for technicians,” he said. “I need to fill those bays.”
Daniell and other Ford reps met with automotive students like Stafford “Manny” Fields, who has been training in the NCC program since June and is gearing up to start the internship portion of the 1,200-hour course.
Fields, a 22-year-old Newark resident, said that hearing just how eager the prospective employers were to hire skilled techs “was very mind blowing.” He added that he was impressed they visited the Automotive Training Center, located at 210 West Bigelow St. in Newark, “just to see us to make sure we were on the right track.”
The event was a joint effort coordinated by Rodney Brutton, NCC Workforce Development Director and Ford representatives Paul Peters, Field Service Engineer, and Roy Gadomski, Parts and Service Operations Manager for the New York Region.
Brutton told the trainees that the main goal is “matching the needs of the dealer with your skill set.”
Automotive student Dawn Shaakir said meeting face-to-face with representatives from Ford gave the entire group a motivational push. “We needed this. It’s very inspiring to us…what they’re offering, how much you can make,” she said.
John Hewitt of Maplecrest Ford Lincoln in Vauxhall highlighted that students must display a solid work ethic, in addition to the technical skills.
“The biggest thing as far as looking for a job is commitment,” Hewitt said. “If you’re willing to try, we’re willing to work with you.”
For more information on the Automotive Technician Employment and Training Program, call Workforce at 973-824-6484.