BMW courts military vets with new training school

February 20, 2018

A new vocational training program will give BMW owners another way to thank their mechanics for their service.

On February 26, a pilot class of nine U.S. Marines will begin a 16-week hands-on training workshop to become BMW technicians at San Diego’s Camp Pendleton Marine base.

MORE: BMW unveils its latest crossover, the $51,000-plus X4

The Military Service Technician Education, or MSTEP for short, is a combined effort between BMW and the for-profit Universal Technical Institute. The goal of the program is to help service members transition to the workforce as manufacturer-trained technicians when their military careers end. While enrollment in MSTEP doesn't a guarantee a job with BMW, it's a step in that direction.

BMW says that it currently employs 14,000 in the U.S., but that it needs more.

"BMW is honored to be working with the Marine Corps and helping provide service members with great professional opportunities to support their transition to civilian life," said Bernard Kuhnt, President and CEO of BMW of North America. "The skillset these men and women will bring to our dealerships is invaluable. Aside from their unwavering team spirit and discipline, many are already highly specialized in some of the most sophisticated technologies, giving them all the right foundations for a successful automotive career. It is now our turn to serve them with MSTEP.”

BMW is not the first automaker to offer transitional programs for military veterans. Ford, GM and Toyota offer training and placement programs, but BMW will be the first luxury brand with a program of its own. The automaker's North American footprint includes an assembly plant in South Carolina, not far from the Fort Jackson Army base.

-- by Ruben Porras

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