After expanding its partnership with Universal Technical Institute for the Military Service Technician Education Program (MSTEP) from a single location at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Southern California to a second at the Fort Bragg U.S. Army base in North Carolina, the first class to progress through the program has graduated. Launched in September of this year, six service members completed the sixteen-week BMW technical education program at Fort Bragg which is comprised of a specialized on-base curriculum with hands-on training focused on diagnostics and other technologies specialized to BMW. After graduation and upon the conclusion of their military service, BMW will help the new technicians find jobs at dealers in the U.S.

During the graduation ceremony, Fort Bragg Garrison Commander, Col. Scott Pence, BMW of North America President and CEO Sebastian Mackensen, and Universal Technical Institute CEO Jerome Grant spoke. The event also served as the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new 4,000 square-foot BMW technician training center located on the base. The training facility is home to three work bays and classrooms along with an alignment bay, and has all of the necessary BMW tools and diagnostic equipment, along with a fleet of BMW vehicles. Technician candidates are taught by BMW-trained instructors.

“It is an honor to support and serve the men and women of the U.S. military just as they have supported and served so many during the course of their military careers,” said Sebastian Mackensen, president and CEO, BMW of North America. “While the MSTEP program creates a pool of hard working, technically skilled, team-oriented individuals who are ready and able to support our dealer network, it also provides great opportunities for service members returning to civilian life.”

“We are so thankful for our partnership with BMW/UTI and Fayetteville Technical Community College (FTCC) for allowing this to happen on schedule,” said Col. Scott Pence, Fort Bragg Garrison Commander. “The Military Service Technician Education Program (MSTEP) allows our transitioning services members to be extremely marketable candidates for rewarding careers. We are proud of the hard work and effort that our Fort Bragg service members put into this course and wish them the very best of luck in their future endeavors.”

“In a world where technology continues to advance, at UTI, we continually evolve our industry and manufacturer-aligned curriculum and training in partnership with great employers like BMW and military partners like Fort Bragg,” said UTI CEO Jerome Grant. “The MSTEP program on Ft. Bragg is an exceptional example of our industry-aligned education model brought to life, and with one of our longest industry partners, which allows us to serve those who have served our country.”

BMW’s MSTEP program was initiated in 2018 with the U.S. Marines and UTI at Camp Pendleton in Southern California, making BMW the first premium automotive brand to establish a workshop and training program for service members on a U.S. military base. Other related news includes BMW breaking ground on a new training center in Spartanburg, South Carolina, which follows the opening of a STEP training facility nearby back in 2019.—Alex Tock

[Photo courtesy BMW AG.]



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