The first ever international event held in honor of the TechPro2 youth technical training initiative took place on June 7 at the headquarters of the Salesians of Don Bosco in Turin, Italy. The event illustrated the activities achieved thus far by TechPro2 and rewarded some of the most deserving students who have participated in the training program from different countries around the world.
The TechPro2 program is a joint initiative from sister companies Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) and CNH Industrial, in collaboration with the National Centre for Salesian Works (CNOS FAP). CNOS FAP’s mission is to promote formation and professional development according to its founder Don Bosco’s teaching principles. The aim of TechPro2 is to provide young people from over 50 countries around the world – such as Poland, Ethiopia, Argentina, Italy, India and Brazil – with the knowledge and commercial skills that are needed to prepare them for future employment in the automotive and industrial machinery sectors.
Mopar, the services, Customer Care, original spare parts and accessories brand of FCA, led this project back in 2008 together with CNOS FAP. CNH Industrial later joined the initiative in 2011, introducing a specific training program related to commercial vehicles.
TechPro2 has grown to be more than a development program to form highly specialized individuals; today it has a global scope which actively involves and fosters a direct dialogue with young people, many of which come from socially underprivileged backgrounds, to offer them a secure professional future. Furthermore, TechPro2 represents an innovative relationship model between schools (specifically Salesian institutes) and the professional sector, represented by FCA and CNH Industrial, together with their commercial and service networks.
With TechPro2, the objectives of both FCA and CNH Industrial, two multinational companies, blend seamlessly with those endorsed by CNOS FAP whose priority is to educate and develop the next generation. A true partnership in all respects: TechPro2 brings together the best of both worlds in terms of technological capabilities, skills and values for every phase of the program from the selection and involvement of students to the “Train the Trainer” knowledge transfer phase for local course instructors; and finally in the training itself with classrooms and workshops fitted out with the necessary tools and the latest diagnostic systems for young students to practice working on vehicles, engines and transmissions.
At present, TechPro2 operates 58 training programs in 11 countries, across four continents. Each course caters to diverse social contexts, both cultural and socio-economic. All of them are united in their mission to grant young people access to serious and structured growth that will give them the means to secure their own futures.
The numerous success stories include Ethiopia where the CNH Industrial commercial vehicles course has paved the way for the employment of all graduating participants. The same is the case in India where FCA operates automobile maintenance courses for aspiring mechanics.
Since it began eight years ago, TechPro2 has trained nearly 13,000 people over 380,000 hours of lessons, which have led to more than 5,000 internships and placements throughout FCA and CNH Industrial’s commercial assistance networks. The program continues to pursue new objectives including the addition of new schools, which have recently been opened in Italy and France. CNH Industrial has recently launched a new edition dedicated to the agricultural machinery sector, which will soon be followed with a further course specializing in FPT Industrial engines. FCA has expanded its course offering for 2016 to include a pilot course in collaboration with its Abarth brand to provide training for the
role of Racing Team Technician and a new logistics course which is planned for September.
At the event held in Turin, seven young international students were in attendance and at one point were invited up on stage to receive a symbolic certificate at the event. These students were:
- Simone Cassino, a 17-year-old Italian trainee who has previously won the 2015 TechPro2 Award and the 2015 Trades WorldSkills Championships in Piedmont (with 548 points in the Mechanics section). He will go on to compete at WorldSkills EuroSkills Italy in Bolzano, Italy and at the European Championships in Gothenburg, Sweden, both later this year;
- Teshale Belay, an 18-year-old from Ethiopia, whose life was literally changed for the better thanks to TechPro2. Prior to the course, Teshale was living on the streets, after receiving his diploma from the Bosco Children Automotive Department; he soon found a job at a local workshop. In addition to working full-time, he is attending night school to further reap the fruits of his efforts;
- Olivia Masedi, a 25-year-old South African and one of the first female students to take the commercial vehicles course, whose dream is to open her own workshop one day;
- Gioele Bombieri, named as the best student of the Verona chapter and winner of the 2016 TechPro2 Awards where he came first in a technical test that required the detection of a fault starting from the recording of customer reports, to skills implementation and the use of official FCA instruments;
- Keith Marian D'Souza, awarded as the best student of the six schools involved in TechPro2 in India, where the courses are shorter but more intense and conclude with an internship at one of FCA or one of its approved suppliers’ sites. These internships typically result in permanent employment (on average over 94% of cases), if the trainees do not continue on in their studies;
- Tomasz Piszczkiewicz, voted best student in Poland, where the course is a part of regular high school studies;
- Agustín Salazar Santiago Iñiguez from Argentina who was named as the best student out of the six schools in his home nation. He is now completing the seventh and final year of his course, where 90% of the graduates have gone on to qualify as automotive technicians.
While CNOS FAP is not present and does not operate in China, it does provide curriculum and teaching models and also fosters relationships with Chinese businesses through the technical training company Yizhong Edulife, a specialist in teaching methodology, cultural mediation, innovation of teaching and learning processes. Bishoi Said, a 24-year-old, who was trained in commercial vehicles at schools in Cairo, Egypt and Verona, Italy has been instrumental in initiating CNH Industrial’s Iveco TechPro2 program in China, which is run by Yizhong Edulife.
A success in every sense, TechPro2 has accomplished a winning relationship model between educational institutions and businesses, synergies which must exist between the realms of education and industry. FCA, CNH Industrial and the Salesian Schools, three important partners and leaders in their respective fields, are literally creating specialists who are not only workshop technicians, but mature professionals who will go on to work with customers, repair vehicles and return them back restored. It is therefore essential to not just acquire technical skills, but also to gain vital listening and problem solving skills in order to be clear and transparent in explaining estimates and the necessary interventions for
maintenance and thus creating a relationship with the customer. It is the combination of excellent technical support and a strong value system that allows students to achieve a high level of distinction both personally and professionally, something that is essential for the technicians of the future.