More than 25,000 students from 725 schools around the country got the chance to get a head start on their careers as Ford/Lincoln technicians at NHRA’s Youth & Education Services (YES) programs co-sponsored by Ford Customer Service Division and its Motorcraft and Quick Lane brands during the 2018-’19 school year.
“We know there’s a tremendous deficit in the automotive technician field,” said Jasmine Pendleton, Marketing Manager for Ford Customer Service Division (FCSD). “Getting, training and retaining talented individuals is a huge focus for us. The YES program allows us to talk about that need with students who’ll be choosing their careers or joining the workforce in the near future.”
Ford estimates 45,000 technicians will be needed each year through 2026. After feeling out the opportunity in the 2018 racing season by hosting six events, FCSD decided to make it a major focus this season, bumping that commitment to all 16 events in 2019. Students who attend have a full morning of activity, hearing a special message from Motorcraft/Quick Lane Funny Car driver and third generation Ford dealer Bob Tasca III and getting the chance to meet with local Ford dealerships to discuss employment opportunities.
Ford offers many avenues for entry into a career as a Ford/Lincoln technician. High school students interested in becoming Ford automotive technicians can start out in the Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET) program. ASSET, the only program with a paid internship. Allows you to earn while you learn and features a structured path to a career. Students alternate six to eight weeks in the classroom and six to eight weeks with a Ford or Lincoln dealer over two years, earning their Associate’s Degree by the end.
“ASSET gives entry-level technicians a major learning curve boost as they prepare to enter the workforce,” Tasca said. “These courses give them the confidence they need to succeed.”
Information on the comprehensive programs Ford offers can be found at NewFordTech.com.
The YES program at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. marked the final event of the current school year. The program takes a break while students are on summer vacation before picking back up at the NHRA event in Indianapolis in September. Students who attend are invited to see some of the world’s hardest-working technicians up close in the Motorcraft/Quick Lane Racing hospitality area, while Tasca’s crew members completely rebuild the massive 11,000 horsepower engine in just a little over an hour after every run down the 1,000-foot track.