Fiat Chrysler, Delgado Community College Partner To Train Certified Auto Technicians

Richard Vargas, Assistant Professor of Motor Vehicle Technology at the Delgado Community College Jefferson Site in Metairie, is the lead faculty member for Mopar CAP LOCAL at Delgado. He and his colleagues along with Delgado Chancellor Joan Davis welcomed representatives of Fiat Chrysler’s national headquarters, the National Coalition of Certification Centers and New Orleans-area Fiat Chrysler dealerships to Delgado for a formal introduction of the Mopar CAP LOCAL program and tours of both the City Park Campus and Jefferson Site Motor Vehicle Technology departments on July 19.

NEW ORLEANS — Delgado Community College has entered into an agreement with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA US) and the National Coalition of Certification Centers (NC3) to offer Fiat Chrysler brand-specific training to Delgado Motor Vehicle Technology students beginning in the Fall 2016 semester.

         The students will receive the opportunity to earn all relevant Chrysler certifications while enrolled in Delgado’s fully accredited Motor Vehicle Technology associate degree and technical certificate programs.

         Delgado is one of 20 colleges nationwide selected to participate in the new program. FCA US established the program – known as Mopar CAP (Career Automotive Program) LOCAL – in partnership with NC3 to train approximately 1,000 students annually.

         FCA US projects it will need to fill more than 5,000 service technician positions at its dealerships nationwide by 2018.

         “We are making great progress in expanding our geographic footprint of training sites by identifying and certifying colleges nationwide that have highly-qualified automotive programs,” said John Fox, Director of Dealer Training at FCA US.

         Mopar CAP LOCAL prepares technicians to work as Level 1 Technicians upon graduation from a certified, two-year training institution. NC3 certifies each Mopar CAP LOCAL school to ensure they meet the stringent requirements necessary for success.

         “NC3 couldn’t be more pleased with the successful local partnerships being formed between FCA US and NC3 leadership schools,” said Roger Tadajewski, Executive Director of NC3, who toured Delgado’s automotive facilities on July 19. “With 20 schools launched in the first six months, the pipeline of technician talent to local dealerships is well underway across the nation. The Mopar CAP LOCAL program has quickly become one of the most important and effective workforce development projects in many years.”

         FCA US and NC3 announced their partnership in July 2015. Mopar CAP LOCAL is an extension of FCA’s Mopar CAP program that has been training service technicians to work in Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge and Ram Truck dealerships since 1984.

         Delgado Community College already has partnerships in place to train automotive technicians for Ford and General Motors (GM) dealers. The GM program is called ASEP (Automotive Service Education Program) and the Ford program is called ASSET (Automotive Student Service Educational Training program). Each program requires two years to complete, with one 8-week period of full-time training and one 8-week period of full-time work each 16-week semester. Delgado currently has about 40 students total in both programs, which are highly selective and require employment at a Ford or GM dealership prior to entering.

         Unlike the Ford and GM programs, Mopar CAP LOCAL is open to all Delgado Motor Vehicle Technology students, not just those already employed at a dealership. More than 200 students will be able to participate in Mopar CAP LOCAL at Delgado. Mopar CAP LOCAL is adapted to Delgado’s regular 16-week semester format. This gives the student the opportunity to work part-time while in school.

         Additionally, while GM and Ford technology is taught only at the Delgado City Park Campus in New Orleans, Mopar CAP LOCAL training will be offered at both City Park and at the Delgado Jefferson Site on Airline Highway in Metairie. These Delgado locations both offer associate degree and technical certificate programs in Motor Vehicle Technology.

         Students completing Mopar CAP LOCAL training at Delgado can expect to earn $35,000 to $40,000 annually upon employment at an FCA dealership, said Donald Davenport, Department Chair of Motor Vehicle Technology at Delgado. Students who participate will receive manufacturer certifications and credentials while in school, making them more valuable to dealers than non- Mopar CAP LOCAL trained technicians, he said.

         Delgado Community College is the only college in Louisiana or in the neighboring states of Mississippi and Arkansas that offers dealership technician employment training for all three major US automakers: Fiat Chrysler, Ford and General Motors, said Davenport.

         “We are extremely pleased that FCA US and NC3 have chosen Delgado Community College to participate in the Mopar CAP LOCAL program,” Davenport said. “We have experienced great success with the manufacturer-sponsored programs we already have here and Mopar CAP LOCAL will take us to the next level. Our goal is for Delgado Community College to be recognized as the premier automotive training institution for our state and region, and as a national leader,” he said.

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