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Findlay partners with FIT to create technician training program

Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow provides job training and coaching and connects job seekers with employers. The nonprofit organization has partnered with Findlay Automotive to create an automotive technician training program.

With this new partnership with Findlay, the organization will be offering automotive technician training. The new automotive classes will begin Sept. 14.

The idea of adding a training course for automotive technicians came from Findlay CFO Tyler Corder who has been on the FIT’s board since 2015. Corder recalls he was reading an article about a nationwide shortage of automotive technicians. The article rang true for him.

He’s been the leading Findlay Automotive for over 25 years, and finding qualified, trained technicians has always been a struggle. So he suggested the idea to Janet Blumen, who started FIT in 1997, and she immediately saw that it would be a great addition.

While FIT and Findlay have been developing the curriculum for months, Corder pointed out auspicious timing.

“With the recent spike in layoffs in Las Vegas, there is a tremendous need for vocational training to help people develop a new career,” Corder said. “At the same time, there is a nationwide shortage of automotive service technicians.

“This is the perfect time for Findlay Automotive to partner with the Foundation for an Independent Tomorrow to provide this vocational training. This program will help retrain Southern Nevadans for a good-paying career and we hope it will also provide Findlay with a supply of qualified applicants for our technician job openings.”

The automotive courses will be taught over a four-month period. The classes will be held on the FIT campus three days a week; two days a week will be spent at one of four Findlay locations. Students will rotate between Audi Henderson, Findlay Chevrolet, Findlay Toyota and Findlay Volkswagen.

The service director at Findlay Volkswagen, John Gonzalez, and other Findlay service directors contributed to developing the course curriculum. Gonzalez and the other service directors have clear ideas about what they would like potential future employees to know.

“I’m super excited about this. It’s reaching out to broader group of people. … I’ve hired like 12 recent high school grads over the past couple of years, but with distance learning, I don’t have another class of kids learning automotive. It’s also a great opportunity for someone to learn our industry and make a career out of it,” Gonzalez said.

FIT refers to its program of vocation training as its Standards of Excellence Academy. Courses prepare people for careers that include nursing, solar panel installation, HVAC repair, medical office staff, forklift and OSHA certification.

FIT focuses on helping both the unemployed and the underemployed — those having a job that doesn’t pay the bills. FIT’s end goal is for people to be completely self-reliant, for them to have a career that enables them to support themselves and their families without any outside assistance.

Standards of Excellence Director Conrad Torres said that the automotive technician introductory course will focus on the drive train, engine, brakes and suspension.

“The goal is to build a good foundation so we can continue from there,” Torres said.

FIT is located at 1931 Stella Lake Drive in the northwest valley. For further information about FIT or the automotive technician course call 702-367-4348, ext. 239.

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