Dye, 55, owns Daytona Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram, as well as a Fiat store and an off-site Ram showroom in the area.
The stores employ about 130 people, and nearly a third of them are working toward college degrees -- on Dye's and FCA's dime -- online at Strayer, a private, for-profit, accredited university based in Washington, D.C., with an enrollment of 40,000.
Dye says the program has made it easier to attract quality applicants and has improved employee retention, not to mention raising morale and helping to foster a family atmosphere.
"I'm like the parent for everybody," he joked. "They bring me all their grades to show me how well they've done."
FCA launched [email protected] in May in the 356 dealerships in its Southeast region, which encompasses Florida, Georgia, the Carolinas, Alabama and Tennessee. In those states, 110 dealerships signed up, including Dye's stores.
FCA negotiated the program with Strayer University. The students take classes either online or at one of Strayer's 77 campuses, located in 15 states and the District of Columbia.
A dealer pays a single monthly fee to participate, regardless of how many of the dealership's employees participate. FCA has declined to say what the monthly fee is for its participating dealers.
Students working at participating FCA dealerships pay no out-of-pocket costs for tuition, fees and books.
Unlike a similar program announced last year by Starbucks, students are not required to advance the money for school costs and seek reimbursement.
FCA has about 18,000 employees in dealerships in its Southeast region and about 118,000 nationally in its 2,600 dealerships. Any employee of a participating dealership is eligible to take classes through the program.
Krissy Chalk, 45, director of marketing at Daytona Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep-Ram, is using the program to work on a master's degree in management.
"The best part is, what I learned last night I can use today at work," Chalk said. "It's a two-year program, and it's probably going to save me $42,000 or $47,000."
Chalk said the classes are challenging, though she so far has a 4.0 grade-point average.
"You definitely have to be a self-motivator and have time-management skills," she said. "And you learn very quickly if you don't do that you're going to get behind."
The program is open to everyone from lot attendants to the general manager, and Dye says the job classification doesn't seem to have an impact on which employees participate.
"The thing that I really appreciate about it is that it gives us a look at an individual that wouldn't have even looked at our industry before," Dye said.
"It's perfect timing. We're all growing again, and we need people, so this is perfect."