Faulkner group’s mentor program sets up techs for success

As Komar and Long interviewed Faulkner’s master techs and service department managers on ways to improve the mentor program, they discovered some older techs had unfulfilled career needs. Says Komar: “We’re talking about guys who are a little older coming to you and saying, ‘What’s my next step?’ You never want to tell someone who’s been loyal to you for all those years, ‘Sorry, I have nothing for you, you’re out.’ How do you leverage that knowledge, for them and for the business?”

Mentoring appealed to Wenger: “I always enjoy seeing other people learn new things, grasp ideas and grow. I find it rewarding.”

Keegan Martin, 20, who graduated from Thaddeus Stevens College of Technology in Lancaster this spring, is training with Wenger. Martin, who worked at the Chevy store as a porter before he finished school, learned about the program during his job interview.

“For the first day or two it was nerve-wracking. It’s a close-knit group of guys. But everyone was friendly and open to me,” Martin said. “I have told people I have learned more from Derrick than I may have at school.”

Komar says the five trainees in the stores he oversees who have completed the program are now full-time techs excelling in their jobs.

The mentor program is part of Faulkner’s effort to permanently solve its tech shortage.

The company has committed $1 million to a local high school’s technician training program whose first graduates will arrive in about three years.

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