Mercedes-Benz USA’s new Technician Programs to help students jumpstart careers
To address the industry-wide shortage of new technical talent, Mercedes-Benz USA launched multifaceted training programs that aim to benefit the automotive industry by providing career readiness to students who aspire to become automotive technicians.
Students can start their journey to become a Mercedes-Benz Technician through participation in three national career development programs: MB Star Connect, MB Campus and MB Drive. These programs are designed to provide a wide range of classroom and hands-on training to students at every entry point.
“We’re not only helping our students jumpstart their career, but also are cultivating essential relationships between dealer employers and potential employees,” said Lisa Rosenfeld, General Manager of Mercedes-Benz Academy, MBUSA. “Our students leave these programs feeling invigorated after learning innovative Mercedes-Benz technologies and driven towards making a career out of working with some of the most technologically advanced vehicles on the road.”
At the high school level and beyond, MB Academy is working to raise awareness of the viable, lifelong career opportunities available to automotive technicians. According to the 2021 MBUSA Tech Demand Survey, which evaluates our dealers need for technicians, MBUSA alone has an annual demand for 1400 technicians, with 50% of dealerships reporting an urgent or extremely urgent need for technicians.
Mercedes-Benz aims to be the industry leader in service and customer experience. With these automotive programs, MB Academy is substantially raising graduation rates to support this development, by ensuring that the best technicians in the industry receive hands on experience with Mercedes-Benz vehicles. Despite COVID forcing limitations on in-person instruction and class sizes during the last two years, 236 interns and hires came out of the MB Star Connect and MB Campus programs. Additionally, MB Drive secured employment for 234 of its 244 graduates at MB dealerships, for a remarkable employment rate of 96 percent. Mercedes-Benz dealership partners also benefit from these programs with a stronger pipeline of technicians through relationships with educational institutions and local high performing students.
“The collaboration with our partner schools has been extremely helpful in our recruitment efforts,” said Patricia Sames, Assistant Manager, Tech Training and Development at Mercedes-Benz of Manhattan. “We frequently participate in career days and employer spotlights organized by our partner schools allowing us to engage with potential candidates. The close collaboration with partner schools has greatly supported our efforts recruiting new and upcoming talent. As a result, we’ve been able to bring on board several Technicians through this collaboration.”
“Graduating from the program here at Mercedes is the biggest accomplishment in my life,” said Joseph Lovelady, MB Drive grad, Technician at MB of Birmingham. “You actually work on real cars, with real life situations as if you were at the dealership. I graduated on a Friday and was at work by Monday morning. I already had a stall lined up, a toolbox ready for me to move all my tools into, and immediately got to work.”
The automotive training and career development programs use a hands-on method for in-person and in-dealership training that enables participants to understand and use cutting-edge methods. To improve the attendees’ comprehension and proficiency with the course information, interactive teaching techniques like group discussions, simulated role-play scenarios, and performance assessments are employed in conjunction with the most recent automotive training curriculum including 22+ Mercedes-Benz specific eLearnings. At the conclusion of the most advanced program, MB Drive, participants are ready to fuel their career as a Certified Mercedes-Benz Technician.
The MB Academy training and career development programs include:
- MB Star Connect: This program is available for vocational and high school technician training and is focused on developing relationships with dealerships to create potential employment opportunities for students. The MB Star Connect program grants high school students access to MB specific automotive curriculum and is a way to raise awareness and interest in the field and the brand.
- MB Campus: This program is available for college, vocational, and post-secondary level technician training and gives students the opportunity to complete MB specific automotive training in conjunction with their 2-year degree. This program focuses on providing students with hands-on skill development through access to MB vehicles, tools, and diagnostic equipment while building relationships with local dealerships to create potential internship or employment opportunities for high performing students. This program is the most direct pipeline for local talent a dealership can participate in, with many graduates going straight to work in the sponsoring dealership’s workshop.
- MB Drive: This 17-week program is the one of the most sophisticated technician training programs available today, and can turn participants into Certified Technicians. MB Drive is also easily accessible to Veterans as it is the first program by an automobile manufacturer to be approved for the GI Bill® benefits in the U.S.