Non-profit partners with Findlay Automotive to create an automotive technician training program

August 28th, 2020 by

Findlay Volkswagen service director John Gonzalez with a few of his current technicians.

Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow (FIT) provides job training, coaching, and connects job seekers with employers. The organization was started by Janet Blumen back in 1997. Fit focuses on helping both the unemployed and the underemployed. Being underemployed is to have a job that doesn’t pay your bills; while it’s better than nothing it’s not sustainable. FIT’s end goal is for people to be completely self-reliant, for them to have a career that enables them to support themselves and their family without any outside assistance.

FIT funds vocational training courses and refers to this program as their Standards of Excellence Academy. Courses prepare people for careers that include nursing, solar panel installation, HVAC repair, medical office staff, forklift, OSHA certification and with this new partnership with Findlay they’ll be offering automotive technician training. The new automotive classes will begin on September 14th.

The idea of adding a training course for automotive technicians came from Findlay CFO Tyler Corder who has been on the FIT’s Board since 2015. Corder recalls he was reading an article about a nationwide shortage of automotive technicians. The article rang true for him. He’s been the leading Findlay Automotive for over 25 years and finding qualified, trained technicians has always been a struggle. So he suggested the idea to Blumen who immediately saw that it would be a great addition.

While FIT and Findlay have been developing the curriculum for months Corder pointed out auspicious timing. “With the recent spike in layoffs in Las Vegas, there is a tremendous need for vocational training to help people develop a new career,” Corder said.” “At the same time, there is a nationwide shortage of automotive service technicians. This is the perfect time for Findlay Automotive to partner with the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow to provide this vocational training. This program will help retrain Southern Nevadans for a good paying career and we hope it will also provide Findlay with a supply of qualified applicants for our technician job openings.”

The automotive courses will be taught over a four month period. The classes will be held on the FIT campus 3 days a week then 2 days a week will be spent at one of four Findlay locations. Students will rotate between Audi Henderson, Findlay Chevrolet, Findlay Toyota and Findlay Volkswagen.

The service director at Findlay Volkswagen John Gonzalez and other Findlay service directors contributed to developing the course curriculum. It seems like an ideal scenario to have your potential future boss design the education courses you’ll be talking. Gonzalez and the other service directors had clear ideas about what they would like potential future employees to know.

Gonzalez had this to say about the program. “I’m super excited about this! It’s reaching out to broader group of people… I’ve hired like 12 recent high school grads over the past couple of years but with distance learning I don’t have another class of kids learning automotive. It’s also a great opportunity for someone to learn our industry and make a career out of it.”

Standards of Excellence Director Conrad Torres said that the introductory course will focus on the drive train, engine, brakes and suspension. “The goal is to build a good foundation so we can continue from there” said Torres.

Fit is located at 1931 Stella Lake Dr. in the northwest valley. For further information about the FIT or the automotive technician course call 702-367-4348, ext. 239.

Findlay Automotive Group began in Las Vegas in 1960 with one location. Today there are 32 dealerships spread between Nevada, Arizona, Utah, California, Oregon and Idaho.

Posted in Volkswagen