This is clever.
As much as the auto industry has been known to do bad, it does often work to help those it can too. Ram, for example, offered trucks at a discounted rate to veterans of the armed forces, and even the very first Ram TRX was sold to raise money for a project that aims to help veterans and their families. But one of the hardest parts of returning from service isn't finding places that will offer you a discount. Sometimes, it can be a real challenge just to find work to do. Thus, BMW has begun a clever initiative that aims to equip service members with all they need to start a long career when they retire from the armed forces.
Partnering with Universal Technical Institute, BMW is adding a unique program for service members at the US Army's Fort Bragg base in North Carolina. The program is called BMW MSTEP, or Military Service Technician Education Program, and provides training for new career opportunities. The idea is that this kind of knowledge will better equip returning members of the military who are now looking to transition into civilian life.
This program was first launched at the Marine Corps Base Campe Pendleton in South Carolina in 2018, and now the 16-week technical education program has been expanded. Thus, BMW gets to train and recruit more qualified technicians (something that automakers will only need more of as production of cars increases) and the service members get the opportunity to work for a stable and globally recognized brand. With skills and experience from this, a job at just about any automaker will be possible.
BMW North America's vice president of aftersales, Claus Eberhart, explains why BMW and ex-military personnel are a perfect fit: "The skillset these men and women are bringing to our dealerships is invaluable. Aside from their unwavering team spirit and discipline, many are already highly specialized in some of the most sophisticated technologies, giving them all the right foundations for a successful automotive career. We are proud to be able to give back to US service members through our MSTEP program." Thus far, the program has produced more than 6,500 graduates, who are now helping produce new cars. So the next time you get behind the wheel of a new BMW X3, you may well be driving something with military input. How cool is that?