MCI addresses major industry issue with new MCI Academy Motorcoach Operator Certificate Training Program to help build the strongest drivers in the business
DES PLAINES, ILLINOIS, FEBRUARY 27, 2020: (TSX:NFI) Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., (“NFI”), one of the world’s largest independent global bus manufacturers, is introducing a driver training program to help answer the industry’s shortage of qualified drivers. Part of the ASE-accredited MCI Academy, the Motorcoach Operator Certificate Program is a graduated sequence of online training courses on safety, federal regulations and coach systems, geared to meet the needs of both new and experienced drivers, and enable career advancement.
In an independent recruitment survey, external training was cited as one of employees most preferred incentives for staying with a company. It can also incentivize job seekers to apply because of the potential to advance their career.
MCI Academy’s program is online, free of charge and spans all skill levels. The program is designed around 4 levels of training. Levels 3-1 include eight hours of training per level with coursework taught via video and PowerPoint narratives. The 4th level is a Master level certificate for the most experienced coach operator.
The Level 3 Certificate helps prepare entry-level drivers to meet new Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) rules for Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) application. Mid-career drivers benefit by Level 2 and 1 coursework designed to improve road safety and coach system knowledge. There is also Master Level coursework for drivers who complete the three levels of certification.
“We’ve built a solid training program for drivers from a registry of industry approved sources,” said Scott Crawford, MCI Training Manager. “The beauty of the program is that drivers can complete their training while waiting for their groups or during their off hours from any location via laptop or mobile device.”
The new program completed a soft rollout with nearly 100 drivers earning a Level 3 certificate and six achieving a Master certificate.
Participants in the MCI Academy Motorcoach Operator program complete their certificate training in this order:
Level 3 drivers receive basic instruction covering FMCSA theory training, safe driving habits, passenger safety, hours of service rules, and several of insurance leader Lancer presentations.
Level 2 improves driver skills, covering turns, highway and city driving hazards along with EDL use and roadside enforcement.
Level 1 teaches drivers how braking and safety systems work such as Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) including Collision Avoidance and Fire Suppression and Tire Pressure Monitoring Systems and covers weather-related and fuel economy driving behaviors.
Master Level coursework covers driver knowledge on major coach systems from engines to HVAC, trouble-shooting skills, and communication with service shop personnel.
“The course structure includes something for every driver,” said Crawford. “It’s a manageable program for every level, building on and enhancing other industry sponsored driver training programs. We invite the industry to take advantage of the knowledge levels our program offers. Operators will benefit from drivers who are well-trained, engaged and proud to work in a profession that contributes to the well-being of transportation businesses, passengers and road safety.”
The program also helps tour, charter, employer shuttle programs and limousine operators recruit and develop driver talent from outside the motor coach industry for well-paying jobs with a future, advises Crawford, noting LMS training account records are never deleted and are available to employers throughout a driver’s career. To learn more about the MCI Academy Motorcoach Operator program, email Scott.Crawford@mcicoach.com.
About MCI Academy
MCI Academy is the first and only in the industry to receive accreditation from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) in 2017. Its growing library of more than 550 online LMS (Learning Management System) courses along with hands-on classroom sessions are available to private and public sector customers to advance their technicians skills earning Levels 3 to 1 and Master certificates as well as achieve system qualifications with specialty diplomas in HVAC and electrical systems. The MCI Academy also offers a Motorcoach Technician Apprenticeship Program registered and certified by the U.S. Department of Labor and has added high-voltage safety training to its curriculum in preparation for battery-electric MCI models going into production in 2020.
With 9,000 team members operating from more than 50 facilities across ten countries, NFI is a leading independent global bus manufacturer providing a comprehensive suite of mass transportation solutions under brands: New Flyer® (heavy-duty transit buses), Alexander Dennis Limited (single and double-deck buses), Plaxton (motor coaches), MCI® (motor coaches), ARBOC® (low-floor cutaway and medium-duty buses), and NFI Parts™. NFI buses and motor coaches incorporate the widest range of drive systems available including: clean diesel, natural gas, diesel-electric hybrid, and zero-emission electric (trolley, battery, and fuel cell). In total, NFI now supports over 105,000 buses and coaches currently in service around the world. NFI common shares are traded on the Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol NFI. News and information are available at www.nfigroup.com, www.newflyer.com, www.mcicoach.com, www.arbocsv.com, www.alexander-dennis.com, and nfi.parts.
Motor Coach Industries (MCI) is North America’s public and private market motor coach leader, building the J4500 (the industry best-seller for 14 consecutive years), the all-new 35-foot J3500 model, and the workhorse D-Series including the breakthrough ADA-accessible MCI D45 CRT LE Commuter Coach offering lower dwell times. MCI will add battery-electric propulsion in 2020. With nearly 30,000 MCI coaches on the road, MCI also provides maintenance, repair, 24-hour roadside assistance, parts supply through NFI Parts, and technician training through the industry’s only Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accredited MCI Academy.
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