Ground Breaking Wednesday June 26 at 2pm
By Cameron Gonzales | June 24, 2019 10:22am
This coming Wednesday at 2 PM, the Community College will be breaking ground for their new Automotive Technology building. The facility will come in at a whopping seventeen thousand square feet and it will be ready for classes to begin by the Fall of 2020. For the students that believe college may not be for them, this trade school will offer a wonderful alternative. Right now, there are 44 million current and former students owing, on average, $37,172 in student loans. The cost of tuition at colleges keeps rising, as average wages stay stagnant, making the process of paying off loans a decade’s long process for most. As tuition costs rise, and more students realize that college is not the path they want to take, trade schools become more and more important. The Community College itself offers financial aid and scholarships. Alongside this is a Workforce Solutions Federal grant meant to offset the costs for those that enter into the trade school. If a student qualifies, they could receive up to $75K in assistance.
The automotive industry has a shortage of workers, and the developers of the program are excited to create their own technicians instead of going out and looking for them. Capital Ford has teamed up with the college program in the hopes that they can keep young workers here rather than send them out of state. Capital Ford has offered internships for students pursuing the program, allowing for more competitive salaries for students as well as a more robust support system. After completing their college courses, Capital Ford has offered a six-week internship consisting of two weeks training in each of the three major departments. With the average pay between $38-42 thousand dollars, students entering the program can be assured that they will not struggle with finding a job after completion. After only two years, these students will have an associate’s degree, with the program teaching them not only technical skills but also comradery, offering close mentorships with older technicians than help guide newcomers.
Julia Furry, Director of Automotive Technologies Program at SFCC and Zach Bandt, Owner and General Manager of Capitol Ford Lincoln, who have developed the program, said that they saw the need in the community, and then immediately went to work to help offer the much-needed program to local students. The program boasts giving students a broad understanding of the latest automotive technology while offering dual credit for high school students who want to get started right away, as well as financial and community support throughout the entire process. Make sure to show up on Wednesday at 2 PM to the opening ceremony. The ceremony will take place across the street from the fitness center, right behind the Trade and Technology building. If you or someone you know is interested in the program, make sure to call Gerard Martinez at (505) 428-1270 for any inquiries!