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How Daytona Toyota is Getting Quality Technicians

Technicians working together on fixing a part
Article Highlights:

  • Automotive Apprenticeship Program in partnership with Daytona State College
  • Tuition-free program with paid on-the-job training.

Photo: Daytona Toyota, Daytona State College

Finding and keeping technicians is a challenge for many dealerships today and the shortage continues to worsen. By 2024, the U.S. is expected to be short 642,000 auto/diesel/collision technicians. And this ongoing shortage is not a new issue. For years, industry experts and shop owners have tried to come up with a solution to bring new workers into this industry. An Automotive Apprenticeship Program may be the solution they are looking for.

That is one of the reasons Daytona Toyota of Daytona Beach, FL partnered with Daytona State College to offer students of the collision and mechanical programs jobs as part of their education. During their two-year apprenticeship, students complete an 1,800-hour, 11-course program through the school tuition-free, while earning hourly pay as employees of Daytona Toyota.

In addition, the apprenticeship program delivers approximately 2,650 hours of employer-based training through direct on-the-job experience and one-on-one mentorship from senior employees at Daytona Toyota. The goal is for students to graduate from Daytona State College and reach Expert Level at Daytona Toyota, meaning they are qualified to handle almost any job that comes through the shop.

At the start of the program, students go through Maintenance Level Training. Upon completion, they advance in compensation and receive a standard company issued tool set along with 40-hour work weeks and incentives. Throughout the program, students then receive Toyota-based training, complete the required Related Technical Instruction (RTI), and obtain multiple certifications. This program is made possible through the Florida Pathways to Career Opportunities Grant, which funds equipment and tools, testing certificates, instructional materials, and more.

A program like this can make a huge difference for a dealership and their community by training quality technicians from the start and preparing them for a long career in the industry. And by pairing the program with the right technology, Daytona Toyota is ensuring their technicians-in-training are getting the most out of the program. With a solution that digitizes communication and reduces paper in service, technicians get to stay in their bays, meaning apprentices learn to be efficient with their time and gain as much experience as possible.

With technology that complements this program, apprentices are trained from day one to stay in their bays, communicate with advisors quickly, and ensure they present multi-point findings to every customer. They learn from the start to be detailed and attach pictures to the RO for parts, advisors, and customers to see.

Many newer technicians were raised on technology and their desire to work alongside it cannot be understated. Technicians and technicians-in-training at Daytona Toyota are happier because they don’t have to walk all over the dealership to get the information they need – it’s all electronic. Students in the program get to be trained on the systems that the future of fixed operations will rely on.

Daytona Toyota is not just generating more technicians – they’re generating high quality technicians, all while making a positive impact in the surrounding community.

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Product Planning, Reynolds and Reynolds

Jeff Adams is a Product Planning manager for Service applications at Reynolds and Reynolds.

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