New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced Saturday the creation of the Excelsior Automotive Technician Task Force, which will develop programs for training auto technicians and enable those participants to transition directly into the automotive industry.
There are programs currently in place which offer generalized training, such as the Erie 1 BOCES automotive program which operates in Erie County, Cuomo says this training will be more specific and more beneficial to both students and companies.
"One of the things we're going to do here in this state is change our education system, where the State University of New York is going to offer specialized training in tandem with the manufacturers so that you can go to school and come out as a Nissan-certified technician or a Honda-certified technician or a BMW technician," Governor Cuomo said. "We have over 75,000 technician jobs that are good jobs, high-paying jobs, and we want to educate New Yorkers for those jobs right here in New York. This new task force will set us on that path."
7 Eyewitness News has spoken to local companies who say that technicians are hard to come by these days.
Cuomo directed the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) to lead the organization of the task force.
"We applaud Governor Cuomo for this innovative approach to strengthen New York's competitive edge in training workers for the jobs of tomorrow," said Acting DMV Commissioner Mark J.F. Schroeder. "We look forward to working with all stakeholders to create a positive program that will benefit students and industry and ultimately the people who buy and drive cars."
The governor says the task force will bring together stakeholders from the automotive, labor, manufacturing and academic arenas to address multiple areas in the marketplace which include:
- Improving automotive technician curricula
- Ensure the training models and facilities reflect modern workforce needs
- Create veteran and women specific campaigns to make the workforce more diverse
- Explore options to create an automotive technician reentry program with correctional institutions
"We want to make sure that all New Yorkers receive the skills they need to fill jobs in various industries across the state," said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul. "This task force will ensure individuals have access to programs that will train them to be prepared for jobs in the auto industry, teaching them how to work on specific car manufacturers. The Excelsior Automotive Technician Task Force continues our efforts to provide workforce development opportunities in a range of industries so that New Yorkers can close the skills gap and lead their best lives."