Teaching the Next Generation of Skilled Technicians


New technology promises a future of intelligent cars capable of amazing things. But, until automakers figure out a way to build self-repairing vehicles, there will always be a need for skilled technicians.

To keep our cars and trucks in shape, the automotive field is filled with many well-paying employment opportunities – from skilled technicians and mechanics to design engineers. Usually, employers prefer that their workers complete some type of formal education program.

A number of vocational schools, technical colleges and specialized learning centers offer diploma/certificate programs, associate degrees and bachelor degrees to train our next generation of technicians.

Forbes recently published an article on The Top 30 Two-Year Trade Schools: Colleges That Fight the Nation’s Skills Gap. It highlights the advantages of attending a technical school – such as affordable tuition and placement of jobs after graduation.

Specialized learning institutions, such as WyoTech, Universal Technical Institute (UTI) and the University of Northwestern Ohio (UNOH) provide real-world, hands-on training for an in-depth understanding of a vehicle’s science and technology.

They also go one step further by providing teach-the-teacher workshops to help build a pool of competent instructors who can then teach the material to their students.

One example of such a program is the UNOH Instructor Update Seminar, a yearly event where educators from high schools and community colleges attend classes led by industry experts and technicians.

Each year, TREMEC sends a group of experts to the seminar to teach a workshop on the specifics of TREMEC manual transmissions.

This year, the team included Mike Kidd (commercial manager), Robin Wright (performance product engineer), and Nate Tovey (marketing specialist) – along with an array of aftermarket transmissions for viewing and service demonstrations.

The attending instructors did a complete tear-down on the TREMEC TKO 5-speed and Magnum 6-speed products, learning the identifying features of each and then reassembling for the next group. Diagnostic procedures were explained at length, including what to look and listen for in order to conduct a proper root cause analysis.

In addition to teaching diagnostic techniques, the TREMEC team also explained the differences between the two transmission designs, the advantages of each and which applications they were best suited to in terms of use.

The workshop included a ‘Synchronizer 101’ segment, which provide attendees with detailed information about synchronizer system design, functionality and failure modes.

Tools available for the selection and installation of manual transmissions were also highlighted, such as the TREMEC Toolbox app and the TREMEC Gear Ratio Calculator. Attendee instructors had the chance to discuss the future of manual transmissions, development and advancement of powertrain technology, and new manual transmission designs.

The traveling TREMEC display was brought to the seminar so that everyone could “kick the tires” and have a look at special cutaway manual-transmissions and learn about other TREMEC products.

At the end of the two-day seminar, 32 instructors from all over the country had received in-depth, practical knowledge and experience of the best manual transmissions on the market. The UNOH Instructor Update Seminar is a shining example of innovative ways teachers are better preparing students for the future, and TREMEC was pleased to be part of it.

Click here for more information on UNOH programs.

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