Taking a cue from newly installed president Larry Brandt’s statement that 2012 will be the year of "training, training and more training" for members, the Tire Industry Association announced several new training initiatives, including a 28-city training tour.
In the first quarter of next year, TIA will release the Spanish version of the Commercial Tire Service (CTS) Program for both Basic and Certified levels, as well as a Spanish translation of the Basic Earthmover Tire Service (ETS) Program in the first quarter.
"Spanish is the primary language spoken at home for more than 35 million people in the U.S. and many of them work in the commercial and earthmover tire service industries," said Brandt. "Our members came to us with the need for a Spanish version of the CTS Program. While it was not budgeted this year, our dealers and manufacturers stepped up with contributions to make it happen. Likewise, the need for Spanish training materials in the earthmover tire industry prompted Michelin North America to translate and produce the ETS Program at no cost to the Association. Both translations are prime examples of TIA working with the industry to meet the training needs of technicians in the field."
Also in 2012, TIA will also release the much-anticipated On-Line University for all six Basic Level Training Programs: Automotive, Basic TPMS, Advanced TPMS, Commercial, Fleet and Earthmover. This will allow companies of any size to train new hires on the first day and automatically track their progress through reporting mechanisms that can be linked to internal human resources software.
"In the past, the traditional video, workbook and paper test format has worked well for the Basic Level Programs, but our members are becoming more sophisticated so they are becoming more reliant on electronic recordkeeping," said Kevin Rohlwing, TIA senior vice president of training. "By developing an On-Line University, large companies can control costs with annual subscriptions while smaller companies can utilize the pay-per-view approach and purchase the training for individuals as they need it. The bonus is that all of our members can take advantage of the electronic reporting functions and the liability protection that it provides."
TIA will also begin production on a new Farm Tire Service (FTS) Program, which is scheduled for release in the first quarter of 2013. This program will address the proper procedures for servicing agricultural, construction and skid steer tire and wheel assemblies, in addition to the safety guidelines for operating articulating boom trucks and liquid ballast pumps.
TIA’s four-day Certified Automotive Tire Service (ATS) Instructor classes will be conducted nationwide throughout 2012 with a cross country tour that will visit 28 cities. Classes will be held at local community and technical colleges near major metropolitan areas.
"We are incredibly proud of the new ATS training and certification program, so it was an easy decision to embark on a national tour," said Brandt. "This unprecedented commitment to educating the industry is just another reason why TIA is the recognized leader in technician training and certification."
The first two classes in January have been scheduled for Akron/Canton, Ohio, and St. Louis, Mo. The Akron/Canton class will take place at Stark State College from Jan. 10-13, while the St. Louis class will be held at Ranken Technical College on Jan. 24-27.
Other cities on the tour schedule include Philadelphia, Miami, Chicago, Toledo, Ohio, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Seattle, Orlando, New Orleans, Greensboro, N.C., Boston, Dallas, Richmond, Va., Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Baltimore, Denver, New York, Houston, Memphis, Cincinnati, Kansas City, Jacksonville, San Antonio, and San Francisco.
TIA plans to release the specific dates and locations for the February to December classes by the end of 2011, but the dates may change depending on availability.
"We’ve barely scratched the surface with the Certified ATS Program, so we expect the tour to provide us with the type of growth that we need to continue our mission," said Rohlwing. "Nobody should be servicing passenger and light truck tires without proper training. By conducting a series of Certified Instructor classes around the country, we can significantly increase the number of qualified technicians and help improve the image of our industry."