BMW is opening a job training institute in California for U.S. Marines transitioning into civilian life.
The automaker is partnering with for-profit vocational school Universal Technical Institute to open a training workshop at Camp Pendleton, a Marine Corps base near San Diego. It is the first time a premium automotive brand has opened an institute like this on a military base in the U.S., BMW said Friday.
Marines will bring "invaluable" skills to BMW, as many of them already have some kind of technical training or expertise, said BMW North America CEO Bernard Kuhnt in a statement.
A pilot group of nine students will start a 16-week training program on Feb. 26. Once they graduate, BMW will help them find jobs at American BMW dealerships. The company already employs more than 14,000 BMW technicians in the U.S., but more are needed, especially those who BMW trains.
Several automakers have some kind of job training or hiring program for veterans. For example, Ford has a job program; GM and Raytheon Professional Services partner on a training program at the Army base in Fort Hood, Texas; and Toyota started a program with Hiring Our Heroes in 2012.
"We are proud to host this unique transition opportunity for our service members," said Brig. Gen. Kevin J. Killea, the commanding general for Marine Corps Installations West – Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, in a statement. "Programs such as MSTEP help our transitioning service members prepare for a successful career outside of the military, and we are excited to see them progress through the program and find employment as BMW technicians."