Mercedes launches training program with community college to address auto technician scarcity

The former Louisville Presbyterian Seminary that is now a part of  Jefferson Community & Technical College. The school first began holding classes in the build in 1967, according to its website. Photo credit: Joe Hendrickson / Shutterstock.com.
ATLANTA - 

Amid a shortage of qualified automotive technicians in the country, Mercedes-Benz USA announced Monday that it has launched a new partnership with Jefferson Community and Technical College (JCTC) in Louisville, Ky., to help address the current need for more skilled technicians in the U.S.

This news comes just about a year after MBUSA introduced Mercedes-Benz DRIVE, its registered apprenticeship program for veterans with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, last summer.

MBUSA’s newest development program was first announced at a ribbon cutting ceremony with company vice president of customer service Christian Treiber. Attendees of the event were Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin, Kentucky Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Derrick Ramsey and Mayor of Louisville Greg Fischer.

“The Mercedes-Benz partnership with JCTC will help to meet a critical and immediate need for qualified, skilled automotive technicians,” Bevin said in a news release. “This innovative collaboration with an iconic, world-class company is a perfect addition to the commonwealth’s top-notch registered apprenticeship programs.

“High-tech, cutting-edge educational training programs such as this one are strengthening Kentucky’s workforce and positioning our citizens and businesses for sustained success,” Bevin continued.

MBUSA said that not only is its partnership with JCTC the first-of-its-kind in Kentucky, but it also enhances the curriculum at JCTC.

In just three semesters, the program is designed to develop JCTC students into level one Mercedes-Benz Certified Systems Technicians, according to MBUSA.

“The need for educational programs like these are important as we face an acute shortage of qualified technicians,” said Treiber. “The shortage largely comes from the outdated image of mechanics and increase in demand. Today’s mechanics must now have a completely different skillset; they are technologists that cater to increasingly complex vehicles. Training programs like the ones at JCTC are critical to help close this technician gap.”

On top of getting to learn on Mercedes-Benz vehicles, students will also become interns at a Mercedes-Benz dealership and have the opportunity to seek full-time employment upon completion of the program.

“The new Mercedes-Benz and Jefferson partnership is where the rubber meets the road,” said JCTC president Ty Handy. “Employers in the Louisville area depend on us to grow the workforce in order to fill thousands of vacant positions. This program answers that call.”

In addition to the new training partnership with JCTC and veteran training program certified by the U.S. Department of Labor, MBUSA also runs an ongoing training program in Lawrenceville, Ga., with Gwinnett Technical College.

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