At January’s North American International Auto Show in Detroit, Michigan, BMW of North America President and CEO Bernhard Kuhnt took the opportunity at the BMW press conference to announce the expansion of a BMW technical training program that could have a significant impact on filling BMW technician spots nationwide and support the transition of U.S. military veterans to an interesting and fulfilling career.

Kuhnt explained that the BMW Group Service Technician Education Program, or STEP, is a sixteen-week training regimen that provides hands-on training to individuals looking to join the dealer technician staffs across the country to service, repair, and maintain the more than 5,000,000 BMW Group vehicles operating in the U.S. After students complete the STEP, BMW helps place those graduates in BMW NA’s network of 624 BMW, BMW Motorrad, and Mini dealerships.

But BMW NA is expanding this program in a very good way. As Herr Kuhnt explained, “We’re now taking this to the next level by tapping into a group of candidates who fully understand what it means to serve—the men and women of the U.S. Military. We’re pleased to announce our new special Military STEP Education program (MSTEP) that launches with the first pilot group this February.”

Kuhnt acknowledged what many U.S. employers have known for years; that former members of the U.S. Armed Forces are highly trained, have often worked in fields requiring expertise in sophisticated technology, are mission-oriented, and highly focused. It can be an excellent set of qualities for people who can be trained to work on today’s highly technical and connected premium vehicles and can help fill U.S. BMW Group dealerships’ needs for reliable and expert technicians.

What is even more special about BMW’s Military Step training is that it will be offered where the greatest sources of potential new technicians are—on selected U.S. military installations. BMW will open the first such program at the U.S. Marine Corps’ Camp Pendleton in Southern California, between San Diego and Los Angeles.

BMW therefore will become the first premium automaker to provide on-base technical training to assist veterans in their transition to a civilian career in the automotive industry.

As Bernhard Kuhnt summed it up, “We believe that hiring veterans makes good business sense. The experience and character they bring is invaluable to us and our customers, and we are honored for the opportunity to work with them. And it’s just another example of how the BMW Group is expanding its commitment in, and to America.”

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