New Community Career & Technical Institute (NCCTI), in partnership with the New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ CAR), Newark Mayor Ras Baraka’s Office and the Newark Alliance, is offering paid apprenticeship opportunities in the automotive and diesel technician fields.
In addition to receiving classroom and hands-on instruction at the NCCTI Training Center, students will have the opportunity to receive industry specific training at area dealerships while being paid at least $15 per hour for their work.
“NCCTI is on the cutting edge of establishing apprenticeship opportunities in the automotive and diesel sectors,” said NCCTI Director Rodney Brutton. “We are proud to partner with NJ CAR, the city of Newark and the Newark Alliance for this initiative.”
NJ CAR, a nonprofit organization serving franchised new car and truck retailers throughout New Jersey, received a $1 million grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor to provide paid apprenticeships. The organization identified NCCTI as a feeder program for Essex County.
“NJ CAR looks forward to the opportunity to work with NCC to help develop and connect NCC talent to the dealerships throughout the region offering good paying jobs and rewarding careers as automotive technicians,” said NJ CAR President Jim Appleton. “Car dealerships are uniquely local businesses and the jobs they offer come with great pay, benefits and, most importantly, can’t be outsourced to the Sun Belt or shipped overseas.”
The funding is part of an expansion of apprenticeship opportunities in the state of New Jersey. These types of programs lead to life-sustaining wages, clearly defined career pathways and lifelong self-sufficiency. Gov. Phil Murphy held a press conference in February announcing $2.8 million in grant money for apprenticeship programs statewide. NCCTI staff members and students participated in that press conference, held at Sansone Auto Mall.
To highlight the paid apprenticeship opportunities, NCCTI hosted an Information Session July 31 at its Training Center, where automotive and diesel instruction takes place. Prospective students, as well as newly enrolled individuals, learned more about the Automotive Technician and Diesel Technician programs the accredited school offers and how they would have the opportunity to earn money for their work while still attending classes.
NJ CAR Director of Automotive Workforce Development Breanna Datello Esquilin spoke to attendees about the grant money for the paid apprenticeship opportunities and explained the skills they learn at NCCTI are and will be in high demand.
“Over the next seven years, New Jersey new car dealerships will need 12,500 new bodies to replace those leaving or retiring. There’s only about 1,200 students in the state of New Jersey enrolled in some kind of automotive training program,” she said. “If you can master this trade, the opportunities available to you are limitless.”
Rich Liebler, who helped start the Automotive Technician program with New Community and Ford Motor Company, also spoke at the Information Session. Liebler previously owned Hillside Auto Mall on Route 22 and currently serves as Chief Administrative Officer and Veteran Coordinator for Sansone Auto Group. He explained that technicians can quickly rise on the pay scale by completing on-the-job training and could make $91,000 per year in five years.
He also told attendees not to get intimidated by the size of the textbooks.
“What you’re getting here is an overall knowledge of the automobile. But don’t let it overwhelm you to think that you can’t do it. Because as you come to me, I train you a little piece at a time,” Liebler said. “You run into a level where you don’t want to go further, that’s fine.”
Students in the Automotive Technician and Diesel Technician programs are eligible for paid apprenticeship opportunities after they have learned some basic skills and have a good attendance record. Brutton said that usually takes about four and a half months. The hours worked at the apprenticeship also count toward the program hours since it is related training.
New Community Career & Technical Institute is an accredited post-secondary school that offers the following programs: Automotive Technician, Diesel Technician, Building Trades Specialist, Clinical Medical Assistant, Patient Care Technician, Community Healthcare Worker, Culinary Arts Specialist and Business and Computer Technologies. Those interested in enrolling or learning more should visit newcommunitytech.edu or call 973-824-6484.