First-of-its-kind automotive tech school breaks ground in Memphis

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Workers have broken ground on a new automotive technician school in Memphis--the first of its kind in the Mid-South.

The Moore Tech Automotive Technical School will teach students the skills to be automotive technicians--a career path that is much needed in the industry. Right now, there are roughly 100 openings for auto technicians in Memphis.

The facility is owned by the Greater Memphis Auto Dealers Association and allow students to graduate with a two-year Associates Degree and the opportunity to earn ASE Student Certifications.

"We've been in Memphis since 1937 but this is one of the biggest days in the history of the school," Moore Tech President Skip Redmond said.

The hope is that the school will be able to cut down the shortage.

"The Greater Memphis Auto Dealers Association is extremely proud to be breaking ground on this joint project with Moore Tech as the graduates of this program will directly provide Greater Memphis Automotive Dealerships with the qualified technician candidates that are very much in demand." GMADA President Kent Ritchey said.

The school is set up to be like a car dealership shop, and a degree and certification could fill openings at dealerships across the Mid-South like Jim Keras Nissan, with starting salaries at $45,000 per year.

"Technical skilled trades are always going to be around, they always have been," Jim Keras Nissan service manager Travis Bruce said. "As time goes on, there's going to be more and more technical and more and more skilled, so schools like this are going to fill that gap."

Bruce said his team has two openings for technicians in the service department.

"We have a really good farm system basically growing our own technicians, but we've even felt the crunch of needing enough qualified people," Bruce said.

The first-of-its-kind school will open the exterior shop in September, allowing for a small class to being training right away.

"It's going to be huge. There is nothing else in the country like this," Bruce said.

To apply, you must have a high school degree or GED. The school will be open for full enrollment soon, with the entire facility scheduled for opening in early 2019.

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