The MCI Academy has added the first-ever technician apprenticeship program for the industry.
The new Motorcoach Technician Apprenticeship Program is designed to promote top maintenance of motorcoaches by allowing operators to offer apprenticeships to new recruits to the industry and establish career paths that didn’t exist before for technicians already on staff.
“Apprenticeships are available for hundreds of occupations from electricians to precision machinists that demand high skills but not always a four-year degree,” said Scott Crawford, MCi manager of technical training, who worked with the DOL on the program’s registration. “Apprenticeships appeal to high school graduates, veterans and others who prefer to earn while they learn without running up student debt. We’re excited to offer the program to industry operators as well as technicians employed by MCI.”
The one- to five-year program builds on curriculum already available through MCI Academy offering a tiered structured learning path with 800 hours of online Learning Management System (LMS) courses (including 200 hours in safety courses) and week-long training events at MCI’s Louisville, Kentucky-based National Training Center to earn Tech 3, 2 and 1 with 16 system qualification certificates including HVAC and electrical systems, coupled with on-the-job training hours.
Apprenticeship candidates must be employed in the motorcoach industry and be assigned to a mentor by the employer. The mentor, who receives an instructional orientation session, will be responsible for verifying that the apprentice has mastered the required level of expertise within the five-years to earn Journey Worker certification.
There is no charge to MCI operators for the training portion of the program, but employers will be responsible for travel costs to Louisville, where MCI Academy’s main training center is located. Businesses may qualify for state tax credits available for apprenticeship program sponsors.
Louisville’s Miller Transportation, with a 107-motorcoach fleet, 183 school buses, plus shuttle and transit buses, is one of the first operators to enroll a recruit into the Motorcoach Technician Apprenticeship Program. Greg Miller, director of fleet operations, explained that Matt Young, a quick service mechanic from an automobile dealership who was hired a year ago as a charter check technician, shows the “talent and character” qualifying him for apprenticeship.
“It’s important to us to foster his growth, and I expect him at the completion of this program to be able to diagnose and repair any issue we see with our fleet,” said Miller.
“We see MCI Academy as an investment in the future of the changing motorcoach industry,” said Crawford. “The industry needs top trained technicians to keep fleets moving, but we also want to communicate that motorcoach technician careers are well-paying jobs with bright futures.”
Graduates are projected to earn salaries between $40,000-$60,000 and more based on location after completing the five-year program. For more details, email Scott.Crawford@mcicoach.com or visit www.mciacademy.com.