The National Automobile Dealers Association (NADA), Urban League of Louisiana (ULL) and the National Urban League (NUL) joined partners at the Baton Rouge Community College McKay Automotive Training Center to unveil its new pilot automotive apprenticeship program for residents in New Orleans and Baton Rouge.
The initiative began last month with Urban League of Louisiana’s Office of Workforce Development. The pilot provides a four-week professional and life skills training, which will lead to 23 aspiring technicians being hired into apprenticeship roles in 10 New Orleans and Baton Rouge dealerships, thanks to partnership and resources from the NADA Foundation and the Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association (LADA).
“The Urban League of Louisiana is celebrating 85 years of removing barriers and creating pathways for African American and other underserved communities in Louisiana,” said Judy Reese Morse, president and CEO of Urban League of Louisiana. “This apprenticeship program is another example of the leadership and work we are proud to do for underserved communities in partnership with incredible business, government education and civic leaders. This is how we are working together to strengthen our economy and help to grow wealth in Louisiana.”
“The NADA Foundation promotes workforce development and believes that investing in people builds a community where everyone is valued and supported,” noted Annette Sykora, NADA Foundation chairwoman. “To that end, we have partnered and engaged with Urban League of Louisiana on this critical mission to help train and hire diverse candidates interested in jumpstarting an auto career.”
“We’re looking to create thriving dealership careers, not just temporary jobs,” said NADA Chairman Geoff Pohanka. “Amazing careers like an automotive technician can mean a high-paying position with many opportunities for advancement. I am excited that NADA and the NADA Foundation are helping to lead this initiative, cultivating opportunities for minorities— particularly women and people of color.”
Through the financial support of the NADA Foundation, apprentices earn a stipend throughout their training. Baton Rouge Community College and Delgado Community College are providing each apprentice with automotive technology training at their facilities while apprentices shadow participating dealership employees. Apprentices will earn ASE and OEM certifications by the conclusion of the 18-month training.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Baton Rouge Community College to partner with the Urban League of Louisiana and the National Automobile Dealers Association to extend an opportunity to our students to develop life-long skills that will enhance their livelihood,” said BRCC Chancellor Dr. Willie E. Smith. “We have one of the nation’s best automotive training facilities at our Ardendale campus, and we know this apprenticeship program will serve as a strong foundation for the participants as they plan for their future careers.”
“The Louisiana Automobile Dealers Association is confident that the workforce initiative and our collaboration with Urban League of Louisiana and National Urban League will help make franchised dealerships more diverse and representative of the communities we serve,” said Will Green, LADA president. “This partnership amplifies our goal of a local, diverse, and inclusive workforce reflective of the many communities we serve.”
The Automotive Apprenticeship Pilot Program is an expansion of Urban League of Louisiana’s SkillUp Louisiana Apprenticeship Program. Urban League of Louisiana recently secured a $1.2 million appropriation through Congressman Troy Carter to expand its apprenticeship work. Congressman Carter represents residents in Baton Rouge and New Orleans.
The Automotive Apprenticeship has 20 apprentices in the pilot. The participants include two females and 18 males ranging from 20 to 44 in age.
To learn more about this and other Urban League of Louisiana apprenticeships, click here. Click here for more information about the NADA Foundation.