Advance Auto Parts Foundation, an organization dedicated to philanthropy, recently announced a donation of $300,000 to Broward College, which aims to increase participation in the college’s automotive technology program and provide much-needed tools and equipment to support student learning. The donation will help 10 students enrolling in the program over the next two years by providing $5,000 scholarships for each student to offset educational expenses. Additionally, each selected scholarship recipient will receive a separate stipend to help cover the costs of tools and toolboxes needed to complete their coursework. The Advance Auto Parts Foundation’s gift also includes support for a dedicated, part-time recruiter at Broward College to help build enrollment for automotive technology programs and the purchase of general-use vehicles, equipment and supplies needed to support student studies.
“The Advance Auto Parts Foundation is committed to raising awareness, attracting talent and enabling career opportunities in the automotive technology field,” Elisabeth Eisleben says, president of Advance Auto Parts Foundation. “By providing resources and support to Broward College, we hope to inspire students from all backgrounds and experiences to explore careers in automotive service and repair, which will help address the technician shortage and benefit our industry and society as a whole.”
With the U.S. currently experiencing a growing shortage of automotive technicians, the partnership between Broward College and the Advance Auto Parts Foundation comes at a critical time. According to TechForce, a foundation committed to advancing the careers of the next generation of technicians, the country is projected to face a shortage of 642,000 technicians by 2024 if present trends continue. Automotive technician positions offer competitive pay and the opportunity to assist customers in safely getting their vehicles back on the road. This gift from the Advance Auto Parts Foundation to Broward College is the second of its kind and will help to expand automotive technology degree programs.
“Advance Auto Parts Foundation’s generous gift of $300,000 will uplift our students in our Automotive Technology Program, providing them with incredible opportunities,” Gregory Adam Haile, J.D., says, Broward College president. “A donation like this changes lives. With access to scholarships and resources, we are empowering our students and preparing them for success by positioning them in careers that fuel our economy.”
Broward College has a top-notch Associate of Applied Science (AAS) program in automotive technology, and they also offer a Master Technical Program for current ASE Certified Technicians. The programs are designed to provide students with a highly technical, interactive approach to learning that prepares them for the constantly evolving automotive services industry. The AAS degree program is ideal for those who want to become qualified automotive technicians and seek immediate employment upon graduation. The coursework also provides a solid foundation for pursuing automotive service management positions in the future. The program has produced over 200 graduates in the last five years.
“This donation will enable us to grow our program by recruiting more students, as well as provide our students with more financial aid, tools and vehicles for our hands-on learning model,” Russell McCaffery says, Dean of Broward College Transportation Programs. “Upon graduation, our alumni are ready for employment. South Florida offers a competitive starting salary in the industry with room for growth and there is a great need to fill automotive technician positions.”
Photo Credit: Downtown Photo