By Rachael Yadlowsky – Collegiate Staff
Grand Rapids Community is the first community college in the state to join Fiat Chrysler Automotives’ network of technical training sites.
The partnership runs through the Mopar Career Automotive Program, LOCAL or CAP LOCAL. “This program won’t be something that’s off to the side, our students who are in the automotive program will all have this content embedded into their degree.” said Bill Pink, dean of workforce development.
Mopar CAP LOCAL includes different modules that will prepare the students to work as high as a level one technician. The students will complete over 40 web-based training modules, which is the same product that is utilized in Fiat, Chrysler, Dodge, Ram and Jeep dealerships. “Our students will leave GRCC with qualifications required to work on a variety of repair needs at these dealerships,” Department Head of Automotive Technology, Chad Lodenstein, stated in an email.
The program is combined in an associate’s degree. The program has benefits for Fiat Chrysler, NC3 and the schools,” said Roger Tadajewski, executive director of NC3, “The Mopar CAP LOCAL program has quickly become one of the most important and effective workforce development projects in many years.”
FCA established the Mopar CAP LOCAL with the National Coalition of Certification Centers to train 1,000 students annually. “At a meeting we asked the dealerships how many students they could take and every hand went up and all of them said they could take two, three, even 10 right now,” Pink said “The jobs are out there, we just need to get the students in the door and trained so they can succeed.” Pink said the fact that GRCC was the first community college to adopt the program shows off GRCC students, the city and region.
“It speaks highly for our reputation, we have Detroit and other eastern cities that are automotive meccas and they came to us first,” Pink said.