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A Central Texas program is helping soldiers become auto technicians

Posted at 7:44 PM, Jun 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-01 20:44:39-04

A partnership between Texas Workforce Commission and Ford dealerships is making the transition for soldiers who want to be automotive technicians a little easier.

The Ford Auto Technicians of Tomorrow program is providing soldiers transitioning out of the military with a path to technician certifications.

”Four Ford certifications. One is electrical, one is brakes, steering and suspension, and climate control,” said Kenneth Freeman, Technicians of Tomorrow instructor at Central Texas College

The program is a 16 week partnership that includes classes at Central Texas College and hands on training at the dealership sponsoring a soldier.

”Four weeks of that 56 week time frame, they’re actually at the dealership doing on the job training. So, they already know who they are going to work for, which is pretty cool.” said Alan Wedding, Military Transition Liaison, Workforce Solutions Central Texas.

Students spending time training at a dealership is something that benefits the soldiers and their instructor.

”When they come back, I can question them. Did y’all run into any problems? Did you see anything that I didn’t teach or that your felt you should have known so I can correct and adjust,” said Freeman.

The soldiers even get a free toolbox and tools when they complete the program.

”A toolbox estimated at 4-thousand-dollars, in order to perform their job at the dealership here in Texas.”said Wedding.

Transitioning into civilian life after years of service in the military can be difficult and at times, scary. All of the perks that come with the Ford Technicians of Tomorrow is making the transition into a new career as smooth as possible.

”To have these programs, it gives the service members an opportunity to relax and focus on some of their family because they’re not worried about their next job, they’re not worried about their next career.” said Mark Phillips, Transition Service Manager for Fort Hood.

17 soldiers have completed the program and with 18 currently participating the Ford Technicians of Tomorrow program is only getting bigger. This makes the program a very successful addition to the over 20 similar programs on Fort Hood.