The Apprentice Program
CINDY: So here at Virginia Tire and Auto, we have an apprentice program. Generally, it’s a one-year program. Individuals apply to be in the program and during that time, they work with a mentor, who is a senior level or a master tech, and they do that on a daily basis. They work the same schedule as the technician and they are learning each day on the job about whatever work or whatever cars the technician is working on.
LARRY: We want to take the skilled people that we have in our company, mentor them, teach them the things that we do. Give them all the information from numbers to percentages, really grow from within. We find that for us it’s a better value than hiring outside is investing in the people that are in your company because they’re certainly investing in the company just by being here. Now we’ve got some sharp people, so we’re paying attention to those as the next leader.
CINDY: In addition to getting that mentoring, they’re also being pulled out into our classroom, on average once a month, where they get book-learning or online learning modules, where we train them and work with them to develop them to be able to take the ASE exams. We pay for our apprentices to take the exams and upon completion of the exams, we do increase their pay.
ANDREW: I was with the company for about 2 years before I got in the apprentice program. Basically, I just let everybody above me know this is what I want to do, is where I want to go and when a spot opened, I just kind of jumped right in.
CINDY: So our apprentice program is a year-long training, but during that year, you’re paid to learn.