Automotive Youth Educational Systems

AYES

Automotive Youth Educational Systems (AYES) is a partnership among participating automotive manufacturers, participating dealers, and select high schools/tech prep schools. It's designed to encourage young people to consider satisfying careers in retail automotive service, and prepare them for entry-level career positions or advanced studies in automotive technology.

Through its dealership and school partners, AYES strives to enhance the public image of dealerships and dealership careers, build local partnerships between dealerships and high quality schools, and foster positive working environments in dealerships. Dealerships today are in competition for qualified employees, not only among themselves, but also among restaurants, mass marketers, other retail outlets and other professions. Dealerships need to reach out to young people and their parents to explain the challenge and rewards of pursuing a retail automotive career. AYES is helping in this effort by providing "how to" ideas and support materials on conducting dealership tours for educators and youngsters, offering "job shadowing" opportunities, and taking part in "career days" and "career fairs" at local schools.

Standards and Responsibilities

The high schools and vocational-technical schools selected for AYES have ASE-certified automotive programs and have active chapters of SkillsUSA. Some also have certified collision/refinish programs. In addition to promoting automotive careers at the local level, participating dealerships are asked to get involved with their school's Business & Education Council, sponsor one or more students for paid internships, and underwrite the cost of AYES Tool Scholarships for their interns, thereby reducing the financial burden of assembling good quality starter tool sets, which can be a significant hurdle for prospective young technicians.

How Students Grow into Professionals

Qualified high school juniors are invited to take part in AYES. In addition to taking the required academic courses toward their high school degrees, they'll take challenging classroom/laboratory courses in basic automotive technology or collision repair & refinish. Through their participation in SkillsUSA, they'll strengthen their "employability" skills (e.g., dependability, positive attitude, spirit of teamwork). Typically, eligible students will begin their internships at a dealership on a full-time basis during the summer between their junior and senior years. Under the guidance of a "mentor" (an experienced technician), they'll develop both their technical skills and their skills as valuable employees. Upon high school graduation and AYES certification, participating students are prepared to begin full-time entry-level employment, or to advance their technical education.

AYES is designed with continuing professional development in mind. Many participating dealerships anticipate sponsoring their students in manufacturer-supported college-level programs, such as the Chrysler CAP, GM ASEP, Honda PACT, Toyota T-TEN, or certificate programs offered by Mercedes-Benz and BMW. Through their AYES experiences, most students come to realize the importance of continuing their professional development, either through a college degree program or through manufacturer-provided training.

AYES currently has an initiative in 45 states.

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