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CATA Learning University marks 1 year with CATAlyst instructors

November 17, 2010

Enrollment and participant satisfaction in CATA Learning University both are up since new instructors took the reins 12 months ago. And the affordable tuition is enhanced by the CATA; the association rebates 50 percent of costs to dealers whose employees successfully complete a course.


Vince Tunzi and Lee Eddy comprise CATAlyst Performance Solutions, a Bloomingdale-based automotive training company that leads the coursework. The pair have trained, consulted and evaluated for J.D. Power and Associates, several automobile manufacturers and many independent dealer groups.


A popular course in CATA Learning University is Emerging Sales Consultant training, for salespeople with less than two years experience. Notably, the three-day course is structured to meet twice initially, then again a couple weeks later. The reunion gives the salespeople a roundtable chance to discuss real-world experiences they encountered in the ensuring period compared to what they learned during the first two days, and for the instructors to re-instill their teachings.


"The real world is much tougher than a training room," Eddy said. "A hit in the real game is much harder than on the practice field. The danger time for a green pea is the first 90 days, so the third day helps their odds of success in a critical period."


Bill Stasek, proprietor of a Chevrolet dealership in Wheeling, has enrolled many of his employees in CATA Learning University.


"Training and education," said Stasek, "leads to better employees, a better sales and service experience for the customer, and, ultimately, a dealership that runs more smoothly and profitably. Turnover in our industry is so high, but training helps us establish the positions in sales, service and F&I as careers, not just stepping stones to something else."


The courses of CATA Learning University span departments and employee experience. Besides the teaching for new salespeople, there also are classes for advanced sales consultants, for sales managers, for used-vehicle salespeople, and AFIP certification for F&I personnel.


The Web site,, presents all course descriptions and a training calendar, and accepts online registration.


Tunzi and Eddy also are developing resources for dealers to recruit employees. Among them, work with Telemundo Chicago to identify and train bilingual employees; and with the Marine For Life program, which has assembled and developed the Marine Corps Network to support and improve assistance to the 27,000 Marines leaving active service each year.