Washburn Tech Named Fiat Chrysler Training Center

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Students at the Washburn Institute of Technology will now have the opportunity to work for Fiat Chrysler Automotives right out of school.

Announced Friday in the school’s automotive building, students training to be automotive technicians can specialize in vehicles within the Fiat Chrysler family beginning this upcoming school year. When they graduate, technicians will be certified to work in FCA dealerships on vehicles in the Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, Ram and Fiat brands.

“This really broadness our reach,” Clark Coco, Dean of Washburn Tech, said. “We always have dealerships coming to us asking for skilled technicians.”

Roger Tadajewski, executive director of the National Coalition of Certification Centers, addresses the crowd at Washburn Tech Friday. NC3 has ranked Washburn Tech's automotive program as one of the top 10 in the country.  LUKE RANKER / CAPITAL-JOURNAL

LUKE RANKER / CAPITAL-JOURNAL
Roger Tadajewski, executive director of the National Coalition of Certification Centers, addresses the crowd at Washburn Tech Friday. NC3 has ranked Washburn Tech’s automotive program as one of the top 10 in the country.

With this certification, graduates could earn $40,000 to $80,000 depending on their level of training and experience. Currently the two-year automotive program has about 125 students, but it’s hard to say how many will chose the specialization, instructor Emiliano Arzate said. He was one of two Washburn instructors FCA trained earlier this week, but all five automotive instructors will be certified to teach the program. The designation as a Fiat Chyrsler training center will not only help promote Washburn Tech nationally, but also ensure more graduates enter the workforce.

“When you look at the nationally recognized schools, they all have manufacturer-certified programs,” he said. “This is another way for us to offer better training.”

The automotive giant worked with the National Coalition of Certification Centers, or NC3, to identify the top 10 automotive programs in the country, which included Washburn Tech. Those schools will set the bench mark for FCA’s training before they expand the program to a total of 100 schools, Willie Daniels, international technical training manager for FCA, said.

“It’s difficult for us to find skilled, certified technicians,” he said. “This program will help us build and grow our team.”

Source Article: Topeka Capitol Journal “Washburn Tech Named Fiat Chrysler Training Center

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NC3 is a network of education providers and corporations that supports, advances and validates new and emerging technology skills in the transportation, aviation and energy industry sectors.

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