"Each apprentice is working alongside mentors who observe and instruct them on what to look for while doing a certain job," he says. "It could be brakes, tires or diagnostics. It's real-world experience, with real technicians doing it every day. We realized we could mentor a student better than any school instructor could."
During the evening sessions, Dooley says, the apprentices work under their mentors' guidance on vehicles that service customers have dropped off, to relieve time pressures.
Of the six new apprenticeships at Dayton Toyota, he adds, one has moved up to a flat-rate pay plan and "the second one will not be too far behind him."
Justin Moran, 33, says he is thriving in the NJ CAR program as an apprentice at Sansone Toyota in Avenel, N.J. Moran left college to start a business with a friend that distributed and repaired cellphones.
"We were amateurs, so we didn't really know how to run the business," Moran says. "We basically ran it into the ground. I found myself with no career and two kids to feed. A friend sent me a posting on Facebook by NJ CAR for a position as an apprentice at the dealership, and I felt it was a good thing for me to learn.
"I had never even picked up an impact gun, but now I'm able to change brakes, I can do tire rotations, alignments, oil changes and even some troubleshooting," Moran adds.
"One day, we were learning what a voltmeter does, and the next day I was using one on the job."
Moran's workday at the dealership runs from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. He attends two evening training sessions each week, from 6 to 9 p.m. He says the apprenticeship is helping him to embark on a clear career path at the dealership.
Says Moran: "I like a job where if you put in the hard work, it's going to pay off."