In response to
soaring vehicle sales and a shortage of qualified service
technicians, Audi of America, based in Herndon, is launching the
Veterans to Technicians Program. The new corporate initiative is
aimed at recruiting former military technicians whose skills might
be valuable in auto dealership service departments.
normal circumstances, there’s always a shortage," said
Bradley Stertz, communications manager for Audi of America. But
Stertz said the company is expecting a technician shortage once new
is exacerbated by the brand’s rising sales. Audi sold a record
139,310 vehicles in the United States last year and is looking to
boost that to 200,000 by the end of the decade. As the company’s
sales grow, so does the demand for service.
the program with Calibre, an Alexandria-based company that has
worked with the Department of Defense and Department of Veterans
Affairs in helping with transition services.
a retired army colonel, is the program’s manager at Calibre. He
became a loyal Audi owner when faced with a three-hour daily
happened to meet Reinhard Fisher, the director of strategy for Audi,
at a function. As they talked, they realized that they shared a
common interest. Fisher had dealers who had inquired about hiring
veterans, while Hyland had just met with the VA about "finding
ways to put our veteran talent pool to work."
growing at an extraordinary rate," Hyland said of Audi,
"and in order to sustain that, they need to find the best
talent where they can find it."
apply must have an honorable discharge and three to five years of
direct experience in a military unit’s maintenance operations.
Currently serving members of the National Guard and Reserve are
eligible to apply.
must pass pre-employment screening and Audi technician skill checks.
If hired, veterans complete a two-week Audi product and technology
that Audi isn’t the first company to help train and hire veterans
— Wal-Mart, GE and even General Motors have done so. But it’s
the first among high-end European luxury brands.
today’s vets, especially younger ones who have grown up with
technology, as a natural fit. They’ve serviced some of the world’s
most advanced electronics and weapons systems under fairly adverse
a navigation system on a car shouldn’t be as tough as working on
the advanced radar-jamming systems in the military," Hyland
can put those kids in a shop environment and give them all the tools
to help them succeed, they can do extraordinary things for the Audi
veterans can find out more, or apply online, at http:///