Swickard Toyota in Edmonds, Wash., has a unique approach to the technician shortage. The dealership, formerly Magic Toyota, has an internal training program. It takes students from trade schools or off the street, equips them with a basic tool set, gives them some classroom instruction and starts them in the express maintenance division.
As the students grow comfortable, they are given more instruction from Matt Stroud, service manager and instructor at Swickard Toyota, who uses the dealership conference room and service bays as his classroom.
Eventually, the students — 10 to 12 typically — are introduced to the main service shop a couple days a week while being mentored by master technicians.