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Internship Program Targets Auto Techs

As the auto repair industry is hit by an aging workforce and other dramatic changes, four dealerships are partnering with Pierce College and Los Angeles Trade Technical College to create an internship program for automotive technician students. Galpin Ford in North Hills is among the participating dealerships in the program that provides paid auto technician internships positions for students currently enrolled at the two colleges. The idea for the program was generated by a sales call made by Deputy Mayor Austin Beutner during the Los Angeles Auto Show in November. Beutner met with auto dealers and manufacturers who shared concerns about an aging workforce and the changing demands of the auto technician profession. The mayor’s office then helped facilitate the partnership. The program marks the first time the Los Angeles Community College District has worked with auto dealers to craft a program specifically for their needs. Participants in the program will receive job training, competitive wages and up to three units of course credit. “We are delighted to be part of this innovative program and to be partnering with the civic and educational leadership in Los Angeles to help train the automotive work force of the future,” said Karl Boeckmann, vice president of Galpin Ford. “This program will be a great step forward in improving the collaboration between the auto dealerships of L.A. and its community colleges, while at the same time creating wage-paying jobs for our young people.” Also participating in the program are Downtown Auto Group in downtown Los Angeles, Beverly Hills BMW in Los Angeles and Longo Toyota in El Monte. – Jessica Vernabe

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