BMW makes US army vets job-ready for auto industry

Universal Technical Institute and BMW of North America are partnering to add a unique program for service members at the US Army’s Fort Bragg, N.C. base. The BMW MSTEP (Military Service Technician Education Program) provides training for new career opportunities for service members transitioning from military service back into civilian life. The BMW MSTEP program was first launched at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in southern California in 2018, making BMW the first premium automotive brand to open a workshop and training program for military service members directly on a US military base.

The 16-week BMW technical education program features a specialised on-base curriculum and hands-on technical training on diagnostics and technologies unique to the BMW brand. Upon graduation, BMW assists the new technicians with employment at authorised US dealers. There are currently more than 7,000 BMW technicians across the network, and more are needed every year, especially those trained by the company itself.

“BMW is honoured to be working with the US Army, helping to provide service members with great professional opportunities to support their transition back into civilian life,” said Claus Eberhart, vice president, aftersales, BMW of North America. “The skillset these men and women are bringing to our dealerships is invaluable. Aside from their unwavering team spirit and discipline, many are already highly specialised in some of the most sophisticated technologies, giving them all the right foundations for a successful automotive career. We are proud to be able to give back to US service members through our MSTEP program.”

Fort Bragg Garrison Commander, Col. Scott Pence, said, “The Army’s Transition Assistance Program offers soldiers who are preparing to enter the civilian workforce the opportunity to learn or enhance their skills and knowledge in a career outside the military. We are thankful for every opportunity provided to our service members that gives an extra advantage to be competitive in their search for a rewarding profession. There is no doubt that with the assistance of the Military Service Technician Education Program, our transitioning service members will be successful in finding employment in a trade they enjoy.”

As vehicles become more technologically advanced and electric vehicles become more prominent, the automotive industry needs highly trained professionals.

BMW MSTEP is an expansion of BMW’s existing efforts to address the technician shortage while also supporting and providing career opportunities for US service members. With more than five million BMW Group vehicles on the road in the US and access to skilled technicians still limited, BMW has invested in several initiatives designed to engage, attract, and find technicians for its network, including the original technician education program known as BMW STEP.

BMW STEP is the most comprehensive BMW technician development program in North America. It is taught in nine locations across the country, producing graduates that are preferred by dealers nationwide. The program chooses the finest talent from post-secondary automotive training programs and colleges. More than 6,500 STEP technicians have graduated from the program to date and represent part of the current BMW network technician total.

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