Customer Spotlight: Automotive Apprenticeship Group

AAG apprentices learn and develop skills through on-the-job training at local dealerships, discovery-based e-learning, and hands-on training and practice.

AAG Customer Spotlight asset.
Sovann Boyd

Sovann Boyd

Digital Marketing Specialist @ ApprentiScope

With worker shortages across the country hindering many employers' ability to hire and retain talent, alternative workforce development programs have been at the forefront of many companies' minds. Through this new focus on upskilling and training, apprenticeship programs have garnered significant traction due to their unique ability to create robust talent pipelines. One company trailblazing the way for apprenticeship programs in the automotive industry is the Automotive Apprenticeship Group or (AAG), which has been working to create workplace environments that are representative of the communities in which they are based while also pioneering pathways to careers for many individuals looking to enter the auto industry.

This month, we had the pleasure of sitting down with AAG President Joe Atkinson, who gave us an overview of AAG’s current work as well as the direction he hopes the program will be heading in the future. 




AAG was founded by David Peterson, who previously owned auto dealerships around the nation for over 40 years. Through his work, he started to realize the critical need for skilled service providers and technicians within the automotive industry. With this discovery, he then created AAG in an attempt to help the Louisville community and surrounding areas combat some of these shortages through apprenticeship programs.

The first-of-its-kind apprenticeship in the U.S. is a two-year program where participants are compensated at a competitive wage and have no out-of-pocket expenses to join the program. AAG’s goal is to work in partnership with automotive businesses to eliminate the growing worker shortages by introducing a new wave of workers into the industry through apprenticeship programs. 



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AAG apprentices learn and develop skills through on-the-job training at local dealerships, discovery-based e-learning, and hands-on training and practice. Upon completion of the program, the apprentice earns a national certification from the U.S. Department of Labor. All necessary tools and a computer are provided to each apprentice. 

“This is all about workforce development and investing in your future staff, as we tell our dealerships it's not the only tool in your toolbox but it’s a new tool that helps you get the job done when it comes to recruiting new talent. We want to be the gold standard for apprenticeships in the U.S. We want people to know what a well-coordinated, comprehensive apprenticeship model should look like”

Joe Atkinson, President of the Automotive Apprenticeship Group


Currently, they run two apprenticeship programs, Automotive Service Provider and Automotive Technician, although they plan on piloting other programs — like Parts Advisor & Collision Center Specialist — in the future.

In AAG programs, there is a significant emphasis on personalized on-the-job learning. Over the course of their two-year apprenticeship, apprentices will complete approximately 4000 hours of on-the-job learning: 300 for discovery-based e-learning and 160 for hands-on training. AAG also offers participants 20 hours of VR training, where apprentices will use Oculus headsets to complete certain tasks to expand their hands-on experience before they move on to working with actual vehicles.


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In addition to that, each participant within the program will be provided with a laptop and toolset which can then be upgraded using a stipend that each participant will receive upon completing the first two months of the program. Apprentices will also have their education, uniforms and any PPE needed will be covered completely by AAG, making the starting process completely free for any interested applicant. 

Apprentices who go on to complete their program with AAG will leave their apprenticeship with factory certifications that will hold significant weight within the industry and follow them throughout their careers. The U.S. Department of Labor certificate that they receive will open many doors to new careers and help them feel confident in working with any brand they choose. 


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As we neared the end of our time with Joe, we asked him what his goals and aspirations are for AAG and what he envisions the future of the company to look like. Joe described a future in which thousands of people across the country were using AAG to advance their careers. He also hopes to expand their programs into other areas of expertise within the automotive industry. 

Closing out the interview, we posed one last question. How is ApprentiScope helping AAG to reach its goals?

Joe responded with, 


“ ApprentiScope allows us to make better & more informed decisions about our Apprenticeship Programs. All the data we need is captured by their platform, giving our team and our partner's confidence that we are delivering the best results possible”

Joe Atkinson, President of the Automotive Apprenticeship Group



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