The Ford Motor Company recently donated a 2013 Ford Focus to the Washington County Career Center’s auto mechanics high school program. This vehicle will serve as a learning tool for the students.
Don Wood Automotive, located in Athens, graciously offered a sponsorship through the Ford Automotive Career Exploration (ACE) program, which led to donating an engine and engine stand a few school years ago. The Career Center’s auto mechanics instructor, Dave Everson, began implementing Ford’s Learning Management System (LMS) training into his curriculum to better prepare students for a job in this field of study. Dave’s use of the LMS training has demonstrated his willingness to take it to the next level, which in turn awarded his program the vehicle donation. Everson commented, “The Career Center’s auto mechanics students will be able to learn newer technology with this car in a hands-on lab environment. Our students are able to take certain Ford classes online just as the Ford technicians in the shop have to take, which can give them an advantage when applying for jobs.”
Ford’s purpose for this partnership with the Career Center is to introduce young students into the world of automotive mechanics through basic training in hopes they become certified dealer technicians. This is a career opportunity program through ACE. While in high school, Ford hopes to have the students “shadow” senior technicians at dealerships, such as Don Wood Automotive, with the idea they are being groomed to hire on after high school. The LMS training gives them some of the basic training to become new Ford technicians, but this is just the beginning. Ford aspires for these young minds to further their education through the ASSET program at Columbus State Community College. Ford ASSET Coordinator and Association Professor, David Foor, explains in detail, “Participation in ACE is a great introduction to the opportunities available through Ford and our industry. However, it’s only the first step. If we want to create competent, long-lasting, well-paid, and respected professionals, we’ll also need to equip young candidates with the additional training, credentialing, and mentorship necessary for true success. ASSET is the only program that can provide paid mentorship, Ford factory training, and a two-year associate degree.”
The Washington County Career Center, Ford Motor Company and Don Wood Automotive are excited to work together in providing high school students with an excellent and beneficial opportunity to expand their interest in the automotive industry as a life-long career. Keith Hallberg, Field Service Engineer for the Ford Motor Company commented, “Henry Ford said, “If you think you can, or you think you can’t – you are probably right!”” Hallberg further stated, “Ford is offering students the “you can” start in life. ACE and LMS offer an opportunity for young people to start in the Ford automotive technical world. I, too, started my career in a vocational setting. It changed my life.” The Career Center is currently training 37 high school students in the auto mechanics program.
(L-R): Keith Hallberg, Field Service Engineer; Larry Porter, Ford/Lincoln Service Director; Jeff Wood, President of Don Wood Automotive; Dave Everson, Auto Mechanics Instructor; Dr. Dennis Blatt, Superintendent; and Joe Crone, Treasurer