IGONC Seeks High School Seniors and Shops for 2020-2021 Automotive Apprenticeship Program

Raleigh, NC (September 17, 2019) –

The Independent Garage Owners of North Carolina (IGONC) is seeking current high school seniors interested in pursuing a successful automotive career for participation in the 2020-2021 North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program. Apprentices in the program receive a free education through the North Carolina Community College system while gaining on-the-job experience and earning wages by working part-time at an approved shop. IGONC Executive Director Bob Pulverenti points out, “A lack of qualified technicians is hurting the industry, and this is a great way to turn that shortage around.”

Interested high school seniors must register with the apprenticeship program and be placed with an approved shop before graduation. Over the course of the apprenticeship, students must demonstrate proficiency in a number of tasks; containing nearly 40 specific job functions, the list includes tasks related to engine repair, automatic and manual transmissions and transaxles, suspension and steering, and brakes. In addition to mastering these tasks, apprentices must meet a certain number of hours at schools and in the shop in order for their tuition to be waived.

Apprentices receive a paycheck for working from the shop, and these part-time wages are the only cost incurred by shops that participate in the program as trainers. Shops must also maintain good standing with the association, and IGONC is also accepting applications from shops with trainers interested in improving the industry’s future. Pulverenti says, “If a shop wants a good pool of qualified talent to hire from in the future, it is important for them to nurture the technicians of tomorrow, today. As many shop owners see it, they are growing their own employees and are able to train them right from the start.”

Apprentices who successfully complete the program will graduate with a degree and zero debt, in addition to a certified apprenticeship and journeyman’s card.

IGONC is diligently working on reaching students earlier in their schooling to make them aware of the opportunities that exist within the industry. In the near future, the association hopes to add a pre-apprenticeship program that would allow students to register at age 16 and shift into the apprenticeship program after graduation.

Although North Carolina’s apprenticeship program has been around for years, it was not available to automotive students until earlier in 2019 when, after nearly three years’ of effort, the IGONC finally saw all its hard work come to fruition with the introduction of the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program. The association is thrilled to do its part to address the ongoing tech shortage plaguing the automotive industry.

“As an association, we decided to provide this as a service to our members and to the industry as a whole,” Pulverenti states. “With the association stepping in to manage all of the details, the shops are now able to focus on training the next generation of technicians.”

Students and shops interested in participating in the North Carolina Automotive Apprenticeship Program can contact IGONC Marketing and Communications Director Tricia Sauls via email: Tricia@igonc.com. The program’s Facebook page can be found at facebook.com/NCAutoApprentice/.

With over 500 members, IGONC is North Carolina’s largest member-sponsored non-profit association serving the independent automotive repair, service and collision repair industries since 1959. The association is dedicated to helping its members deal with the many challenges impacting garage owners in their state.

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If you would like more information about this topic, please contact Tricia Sauls at 919-322-0609 or tricia@igonc.com.

Written by triciasauls

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