By Camey Crossley
As the school years come to an close many students leave high school not sure what their next step is, some choose college or trade school, and some go straight to the workforce. But there are a group of graduates that feel like none of those options are right for them. However, if you have a genuine interest in cars and are motivated to start an automotive career the Ford ASSET Program might be right for you.
The Ford ASSET Program is a two-year automotive program, designed to train individuals for careers as Ford automotive service technicians. Students who participate in this program are sponsored by a local Ford or Lincoln dealership and will spend half the time in a classroom and the other half learning hands with a mentor. In the course of this program, students will earn an associate degree in Automotive Technology and will be ready to join the workforce the day they graduate from the program. Not only is the program tuition extremely reduced, but you are getting paid while you learn. This program is offered at 21 colleges around the country including locally at Metropolitan Community College-Kansas City.
It’s no doubt that this program is an incredible opportunity for many people, a large percentage of Gary Crossley Ford’s technicians are graduates of this program. Including one of the first graduates of this program and a Ford Senior Master Technician, Rick Wolpers. I sat down and asked Rick some questions about his experience with this program. My first question was about his personal experience in the program and what led him to apply. Rick explained that he learned about the program through a friend of a friend who encouraged him to apply due to his interest in vehicles, “ I grew up a Ford guy and I was just a gear head, the program was new at the time and I knew I wanted to work for Ford.” Rick’s wish came true in a huge way, he has been working with Ford for 35 years and was part of the first Ford ASSET Program graduating class out of Kansas City. Rick noted that this job is good for someone who wants to be hands-on and be in an environment that’s changing every day. Each day is a new problem to solve and because “the technology is always changing” you have to adapt and learn. Rick explained that the benefits of the program included job security, benefits, good pay, and significantly reduced tuition. I asked him if he would suggest the program to others which he answered quickly with an enthusiastic “Yes! Absolutely!” and continued by explaining that the automotive industry needs more technicians.
If you feel like the path of the Ford ASSET Program might be right for you, Gary Crossley Ford wants to sponsor you. Gary Crossley Ford tries to sponsor 2 students per session and currently has job openings in both the main service shop, Quick Lane, parts department, and the collision center/body shop. If you live, eat, and refer to yourself as a gearhead, then you’re our kind of people. Stop by Gary Crossley Ford and let’s chat.