A new generation of Ford products requires a new generation of technicians.
Just recently, Ford announced it will invest $3.7 billion into the production of new EVs and ICE-powered vehicles, such as the upcoming S650 Mustang and the eagerly-awaited Ranger. The hefty expenditure will also create a staggering 6,200 jobs as the company ramps up production of its commercial electric vehicles.
Aside from this, the Blue Oval has been making a different type of investment, by providing unique opportunities to fledgling mechanics across the country. Together with participating dealerships, the automaker's Sponsor Our Students (SOS) program is providing much-needed experience to scholars hoping to make it as automotive technicians.
The initiative is available to high school and community college students, with more than 1,000 Ford and Lincoln dealers providing work-based learning in their respective service departments.
Since the program's commencement in April, more than 3,600 car-loving students have enrolled with Ford hoping to attract an additional 1,400 before year-end. Throughout the process, trainee mechanics will learn how to carry out maintenance on both EVs like the Ford Mustang Mach-E and gas-powered vehicles such as the F-150 pickup truck.
Ford's vice president of customer service explains why the company is pioneering this program. "Recruiting and retaining quality auto technicians is increasingly becoming one of the biggest challenges facing the retail automotive industry today and why building the dealer technician pipeline is so important," said Frederiek Toney.
This initiative also reduces the time and cost associated with training new service staff. Aside from experience, there are plenty of opportunities in store for students. If hired by their sponsoring dealer, there's a chance to receive specialized training within the Ford dealer network.
This will allow them to pursue a particular field within the automotive technician trade, which is the end goal. "Our goal is to build senior master technicians from the ground up and we are doing this for the customer," remarked Zach Brandt, general manager at a New Mexico Ford dealer. "These [sponsored] technicians are also more loyal to you and are better techs for it."
Ford notes the program is currently only available in the USA but hopes to see the scheme applied in other regions. We applaud the Blue Oval for providing the youth with a meaningful program which will equip them for the future and teach them useful skills.
Judging by how strongly Ford's electric vehicles are performing on the sales charts, the next generation of Ford technicians should have their hands full for years to come.