In the face of a scarcity of qualified automotive technicians entering the workforce, the GM Automotive Service Educational Program (GM ASEP) is growing, with enrollment in the program now at a 10-year high. The GM ASEP provides a career pathway for students to receive training and real-world experience before landing full-time jobs at a GM dealership. The bump in program enrollment may be the result of the “Bring Us Your Talent” marketing campaign.
According to a recent report from Automotive News, which cites GM manager of technician environment and service technical training Eric Kenar, program enrollment for the 2023 calendar year tops 600 students. By comparison, enrollment has totaled between 365 and 450 students per year since 2012.
First launching in 1979, the GM ASEP has produced over 17,000 technicians to date. The program includes vehicles and technology donated by GM, and partners with community colleges across the nation to build a pipeline for fresh talent to enter the workforce. For now, the program emphasizes internal combustion vehicles, although according to Kenar, it includes some electric vehicle awareness and safety training as well.
The program takes two years to complete and is run in eight-week segments, and includes a paid role working at a dealership. The placement rate for students landing full-time jobs with the dealership sponsor is in the high 90-percent range.
GM launched the “Bring Us Your Talent” marketing campaign in 2021 to attract new students to the program, highlighting the need for skilled auto technicians, as well as the high-tech nature of modern auto service. The campaign also highlighted the financial benefits of a career in automotive service, including the potential to incur relatively low student debt and to make upwards of $100,000 annually.
Per the Automotive News report, Jonathan Cote, lead technician at Ed Rinke Chevrolet–Buick–GMC in Detroit, said that a career as an auto technician was both mentally intensive and labor-intensive. Cote began working at the dealership ten years ago as a GM ASEP student.