UAA’s Automotive and Diesel provides hands-on training to local mechanics

The Automotive and Diesel program has begun “boot camps” for local technicians which provide hands-on experience for electrical and alignment training.

UAA skills competition 2023. Photo provided by Darrin Marshall.

UAA’s Automotive and Diesel Technology is hosting “boot camps” for the local automotive industry, helping businesses such as Kendall Lexus educate their employees.

These boot camps include electrical training for current automotive technicians who agreed to four days of in-class training.

Director of the Automotive and Diesel department Darrin Marshall was the instructor for a recent electrical boot camp for technicians from Kendall Lexus of Alaska.

UAA charges the industry where the technicians originate for $600 for a four-day lesson. Classes start at eight in the morning and end at four in the afternoon.

“It shows that the industry members are willing to invest in their tech and it shows that the tech is willing to invest in themselves,” said Marshall.

Boot camp classes have an attendance of around nine to 13 technicians and UAA’s automotive department has been asked to host more classes in the future for other companies interested in investing in their technicians.

The next boot camp was in the beginning of January for alignments and there will be another boot camp in March for people on base at JBER. Automotive and Diesel has also been asked to host an advanced electrical class sometime later this year.

Marshall said that all classes the department has offered have been completely filled and he expects future classes to be the same.

“This is kind of a multi-level initiative, educating technicians out there, because there are a lot of rookies that are getting into the field. They’ll stay in the field if they know more about what they're doing and they feel more competent and able, which generates people embracing the industry,” said Marshall.

Another boot camp is in the works for correctional facility inmates where inmates may earn a certificate to have a better chance at joining the workforce after they are released.

Marshall and his fellow educators are using their off time to teach many of these boot camp classes – making education available when it otherwise wouldn’t be without their dedication.