What do Shoreline Community College, a Chinese technical institute and Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology have in common? They are all working together to train automotive service technicians for the largest automobile market in the world: China.
An agreement just signed by Shoreline President Lee Lambert with Nanjing Institute of Industry and Technology (NIIT) paves the way for the three schools to collaborate on technician training. Both Shoreline and Oklahoma have well-established training centers with strong ties to automotive manufacturers to train technicians for new car dealerships as well as independent repair and maintenance shops.
On Oct. 21, 2012, just prior to the signing, Lambert was a keynote speaker at the International Forum on Vocational and Technical Education session on China-U.S. Cooperation on Automobile Education and Training.
“My presentation focused on the outstanding work Shoreline has been doing in collaboration with business and industry to educate and train a highly skilled workforce for the auto dealers in the Puget Sound region,” Lambert said from China. Shoreline trains GM, Toyota, Chrysler and Honda technicians, has a general service technician program, partners with service suppliers such as Snap-on and Hunter Engineering and offers incumbent worker training for a number of other brands such as Hyundai, Kia and Subaru.
“Because of our outstanding work, Chinese officials have made a number of visits to our Professional Automotive Training Center,” he said.
Lambert said that the visits have led to the development of key partnerships in China and the U.S., including one with Nanjing.
“NIIT is one of the oldest and well established vocational institutions in China,” Lambert said. “We have also forged a partnership with Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology.
“Together, our three institutions are forging a partnership to bring U.S.-recognized training standards to China for automotive service technician training. The goal is to raise automotive service technician training in China to the same quality level of U.S.-based programs.”
Lambert said that a key to such training is using third-party certifications as assessment, such as the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF) for programs and Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) for technicians in addition to manufacturer-specific training.
“At the conclusion of our presentation, I signed an agreement with President Sun of NIIT to begin more in depth discussions in the areas of faculty and student development, program standards and industry cooperation,” Lambert said, adding that the agreement includes working with OSU-IT to develop a joint program.
OSU-IT has manufacturer-based programs for Chrysler, Ford, GM and Toyota and also offers heavy truck and equipment programs.
“I am very pleased with the deepening of our relationship with NIIT and OSU-IT. The Chinese car market is the biggest market in the world. At some point, the Chinese will need to shift their strategy from selling cars to servicing them. The model at Shoreline and OSU-IT is exactly what NIIT and other Chinese colleges are looking to introduce to respond to this reality.
- Nanjing Institute of Industry and Technology
- Oklahoma State University Institute of Technology
- President Lambert's blog