• What is Shifting Gears Automotive Technician Training Program?
The U.S. Army, General Motors (NYSE:GM) and Raytheon Company (NYSE: RTN), teamed up to provide eligible Soldiers with skills to become service technicians at GM dealerships after they return to civilian life. The Shifting Gears Automotive Technician Training Program is a multi-year initiative and it will begin Aug. 4, 2014, at Fort Hood, TX. The initiative demonstrates a strong commitment to helping veterans succeed by connecting them with education and career opportunities outside of the military service. Also, Shifting Gears is a part of the Army’s Soldier for Life support program, which helps soldiers reintegrate into their communities after leaving the Army.
• What categories of Soldiers are eligible for this program?
Shifting Gears is an instillation-based program focused toward providing automotive technician training to transitioning Soldiers. However, General Motors offers technician training online to all veterans.
• Is Shifting Gears is only for Soldiers from the Active Duty component or does it also include Soldiers from the Reserve component?
This program is offered to Soldiers of all components. However, there are qualifications participant must meet.
• What criteria make a Soldier eligible to participate in the Shifting Gears training program?
Beyond being a Soldier preparing to transition from military, there are a number of criteria that must be met to the achievement of qualifying scores on both Army and GM Service Technical College assessment tests.
• In what automotive skill sets will graduates be proficient upon completion of the program?
Soldiers will be trained to diagnose and repair GM vehicles, with a strong focus on engine repair, engine performance, brakes and HVAC.
• What is the salary associated with acquiring such skills and working for GM?
Pay levels are determined between technicians and their employers. However, auto technicians earn an average of $39,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, but master technicians can earn $60,000 or more. Also, the U.S. Dept. of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics forecasts that the automotive repair and maintenance industry is expected to add 237,500 new jobs and have a 30 percent growth rate through 2020, making technicians one of the top 20 jobs with relatively high median earnings and the potential for significant job openings over the next decade.
• Which GM locations are available for employing the Soldiers who complete the program?
This program is intended for domestic locations.
• Are jobs guaranteed after eligible Soldiers have completed the automotive technician training?
This program provides training and placement opportunities but does not guarantee employment. General Motors is providing instructors, curriculum, vehicles, tools, and equipment to support the program and free access to a custom job posting website that makes dealers aware of the availability of program graduates and graduates aware of potential dealer openings.
• How will the Shifting Gears partners (The U.S. Army, Raytheon and General Motors) scale success from this initiative?
In the interim, success will be measured by the number of graduates productively employed by GM Dealers.
• Can a participant work for non-GM dealers?
Shifting Gears provides GM specific automotive training. It is possible that a graduate could work for another automaker but would require additional training on that manufacturer’s products.
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