BMW training center to open at Camp Pendleton
By LINDA MCINTOSH | The San Diego Union-Tribune | Published: February 14, 2018
SAN DIEGO (Tribune News Service) — A pilot program is set to kick off at Camp Pendleton to train transitioning service members to become BMW technicians.
BMW of North America and Scottsdale, Ariz.-based Universal Technical Institute are partnering in what they call a first-of-its-kind program for a premium car manufacturer on a U.S. military base.
An opening ceremony is set for Feb. 15 and the pilot program begins Feb. 26 on base.
The tuition-free, 16-week BMW-specific technical education program includes a specialized on-base curriculum and hands-on technical training in a workshop setting for service members to begin a career with BMW. It is funded by BMW of North America.
Graduates of the BMW MSTEP (Military Service Technician Education Program) start their careers as Level 3 BMW Technicians and get referred to jobs at authorized BMW dealerships.
“The skillset these men and women will bring to our dealerships is invaluable. Aside from their unwavering team spirit and discipline, many are already highly specialized in some of the most sophisticated technologies, giving them all the right foundations for a successful automotive career,” said Bernard Kuhnt, president and CEO of BMW of North America.
Camp Pendleton was selected as the training site because of its proximity to surrounding bases and high concentration of nearby BMW dealers, which need skilled technicians. Nearby dealerships are in nearby cities such as Vista, Escondido, Encinitas and Murrieta.
The program will be offered to service members moving from military to civilian jobs from Camp Pendleton along with other western bases, such as Naval Base San Diego, Marine Corps Air Ground Combat Center Twentynine Palms, Fort Irwin National Training Center in the Mojave Desert and Joint Base Lewis-McChord near Tacoma, Wash.
“The program is an innovative way for UTI to support our nation’s heroes and BMW of North America, a longstanding manufacturer and employer partner, “ said Walt Langley, vice president of Industry Alliances.
This is the first time Universal Technical Institute is running an automotive technician training on a military base, but it has a motorcycle program at Fort Bliss in Texas.
The pilot class includes seven Marines and two soldiers. Recruitment for future classes will not begin until after the pilot class.
“Our goal is twofold: to provide valuable training to America’s service members so they can launch successful careers post service and to create a pipeline of certified technicians for BMW of North America,” Langley said.
For information about the STEP program, visit BMWSTEP.com.