November 15, 2019 – Trenton, NJ – The New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ CAR) hosted an Apprenticeship Recognition Day event today in honor of National Apprenticeship Week. The first apprentices to participate in the Coalition’s Automotive Technician Apprenticeship Program (ATAP), as well as various program partners, were recognized at the event.
ATAP’s mission is to promote the benefits of a career in automotive technology, as well as help dealerships recruit, train and retain the next generation of automotive technicians by providing job-specific classroom instruction through local county vocational schools and on-the-job training at neighborhood new car dealers.
“The demand for skilled automotive technicians is at an all-time high in New Jersey,” said Jim Appleton, President, NJ CAR. “New Jersey alone will need to fill as many as 12,500 auto tech positions in the next seven years, as demand grows, and technicians retire from the workforce. These are highly-skilled, good-paying, local jobs that can’t be outsourced, and we are proud to recognize the apprentices, dealerships, mentors and others who have stepped up to meet this critical need by supporting ATAP.”
Earlier this year, NJ CAR was awarded $907,000 though a GAINS (Growing Apprenticeships in Non-traditional Sectors) grant from the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, which helped the Coalition launch ATAP. Students are recruited from high school technical training programs, county vocational programs, local communities, veteran associations, as well as existing dealership personnel.
“It is critical that we invest in and train new apprentices who will form the future foundation of our workforce,” said Breanna Esquilin, NJ CAR Director of Automotive Workforce Development. “The support of the U.S. Department of Labor, New Jersey Department of Labor, New Jersey Reentry Corporation, as well as dealer principals, service managers, mentors and apprentices are what make programs, like NJ CAR’s ATAP, successful and create a path to a rewarding career with little or no student loan debt.”
NJ CAR will continue working to draw more men and women into the automotive technician field through its apprenticeship program because, as the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Apprenticeship says, “apprenticeships are a customizable, flexible and proven business-driven model for developing workers.”
In addition to highlighting the ATAP apprentices, the event featured speakers from the US DOL, NJ DOL, NJ Reentry Corporation, as well as ATAP instructors, dealership managers and mentors who are participating in the program.
About The New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers
The New Jersey Coalition of Automotive Retailers (NJ CAR), founded in 1918, is a non-profit organization serving approximately 510 franchised car and truck retailers throughout New Jersey. NJ CAR promotes the principals of commercial honor and integrity in the sale and service of motor vehicles. The Coalition keeps its members informed on a variety of business matters, practices, trends, and legislation. NJ CAR also works to ensure all members are educated to assure regulatory compliance.