ROUND ROCK, Texas (KXAN) — Auto technicians are in high demand, and with positions opening up across the country Austin Community College is introducing a new program to help fill positions.

In 2022, ACC is partnering with Toyota Motor North America and offer a program known as the technician training and education network, or T-Ten, program. It’s a hands-on program that James Latham, ACC’s T-Ten instructor, says will give graduates a competitive advantage.

The program will provide a pipeline for students to train and apply for careers with Toyota and Lexus upon completion, and it’ll be the only such partnership with an automaker in Central Texas and take place at ACC’s Round Rock campus.

“The old days we would pop the hood and look for what is wrong,” Latham said.

With automobile technology continuing to advance, each year technicians need to have the most up-to-date training says Latham.

“So we need a new technician that is not just a mechanic anymore,” Latham said. “We are calling them technicians. They have to be well-versed in areas like computer skills. We are going to take an engine out of the car, take it apart, then disassemble and learn every component.”

Timothy Carter is a past graduate of the program. He says students enrolled in the program can quickly advance in their careers.

“The T-Ten program really gives you a basic understanding of how to start working on Toyota vehicles,”
Carter said.

Carter says focusing on Toyota and Lexus makes it easier to master those specific vehicles.

“Each manufacturer has different issues with their vehicles, so you are just specifically going for one manufacturer.”

In a field that needs more technicians, ACC and Toyota are hoping to jumpstart more people to join the industry.

“It is an area that has been skipped over for years and there aren’t enough technicians to go around,” Latham said.

After competing the program, graduates can apply for service technician positions at Toyota or Lexus dealerships, or any automotive service operation, including independent service and repair shops.