For Immediate Release
Volvo launches exclusive S.A.F.E. Technician Training Program
ROCKLEIGH, NJ -- January 11, 2001 -- Volvo technicians represent the essence of Volvo's commitment to automotive performance, safety and driving pleasure. Alongside a vehicle's owner, the highly trained Volvo technician is the car's best caretaker. That's why the selection and training of Volvo technicians is so critical.
Volvo Cars of North America (VCNA) has recently teamed up with Universal Technical Institute (UTI) to educate ambitious and talented graduate-level technicians in Volvo technologies and systems.
The new Service Automotive Factory Education (SAFE) program, which is exclusive to Volvo, provides the latest in training to qualified applicants. It offers a rare opportunity for an entry-level technician. Through SAFE the candidate can earn in 16 weeks, training that places them three to five years ahead of other entry-level technicians. And it provides the basis for certification, along with other standards, as a Volvo Master Technician.
SAFE is a direct response to the clear need for well-trained technicians. For at least a decade, the automotive industry has experienced an increasing gap between the number of service technicians needed and the number available. Updated training was never more important than in this era of automotive innovation. Rapid product launches, the introduction of network technology and new repair methods place unprecedented demands on technicians. Volvo recognizes that the essential need for highly qualified technicians will continue to increase apace with elevated sales goals.
"SAFE will create a pool of qualified technicians," said Frank Boylan, Course Development Specialist, Volvo Cars of North America. "Its strength is that by drawing upon a base of able students, SAFE instills the specialization and rigorous training necessary to qualify as Volvo technicians."
The first class of five students began instruction in Chicago on November 20th. In order to be accepted to the program, these students had to demonstrate an outstanding record at their undergraduate program, agree to periodic drug testing, be willing to relocate and agree to work exclusively for a Volvo retailer for a minimum of six months. These students hail from New York, Vermont and Illinois, and future classes will include students from across the country.
The program tries to match trainees with locations that excite them. "One of the key factors of long-term success," said Boylan, "is getting these technicians where they want to go." Volvo works to connect the graduates with retailers in the parts of the country they wish to live. "We want as much as possible to create a long-term situation."
VCNA and participating retailers are investing significant resources in this program and are providing it tuition free for qualified students who successfully complete the training and work at a Volvo retailer at least six months. Volvo Retailers can even sponsor a student in the program, thereby increasing the opportunity to hire intelligent and capable technicians from their community.
Boylan said Volvo intends to increase the program to at least two, 16-man classes per day in Chicago alone. "We expect to grow the program at least to 200 students per year, and possibly as large as 400 in a year. Volvo retailers have expressed a need for trained entry level technicians and VCNA is committed to supporting this effort 100%."
By building a committed, well-trained pool of technicians from the ground up, Volvo can look forward to meeting the demands of its consumers for years to come.
Product Communications Manager
Volvo Cars of North America