Velocity Modern Classics announced it launched a new apprenticeship program aimed at training the next generation of automotive technicians. The first paid apprenticeship program received over 400 applications and aims to teach students body fabrication, paint, engine assembly and other specialized mechanical skills.
In response to an ongoing shortage of skilled labor in the automotive industry, the program is part of Velocity’s commitment to American manufacturing and investment in training automotive artisans, the company says.
The three-month program was built by Velocity’s team from the ground up and is designed to accept applicants with no prior experience. While most trade schools charge to take classes, Velocity pays each apprentice while they learn. Velocity’s specialized course in automotive skills includes three weeks of classroom training and three additional weeks of on-the-job training. Each class of apprentices will take a deep dive into one stage of Velocity’s restoration and assembly process.
“Everyone is having staffing issues of some sort these days, but the classic automotive industry as a whole needs more skilled labor,” said Jeremy Hans, CEO of Velocity Modern Classics. “We saw a huge opportunity to foster local talent and show them the way we do things at Velocity. Our team put a lot of work into the program’s curriculum, and we’re seeing great results already.”
Velocity says it accepted the initial round of applicants in February. The program’s first class is training students on paint and bodywork, learning Velocity’s paint and body fabrication techniques in its 135,000-sq.-ft. facility. Participants will also gain hands-on experience working in a state-of-the-art restoration shop, which builds classic F-250s and Broncos on an unprecedented 14-week timeline, the company says. Velocity has already expanded the program to include training on assembly and metalworking and plans to expand classes to include all portions of its assembly line.