Ford Motor Co. donated two vehicles to Spartanburg Community College for students in the college’s Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training program. The F-150 pickup and Fusion are part of the college’s Ford ASSET fleet, which is used by students to learn while working as they pursue careers at automotive technicians.
“Automotive technicians are in high demand with an extreme shortage of people with the necessary skills to diagnose and repair the complex vehicles that are on the road today,” Mark Smith, program director for the SCC Ford ASSET program, said in a news release. “These two vehicles were donated to SCC by Ford Motor Co. to keep our program up to date with current technology. By having the ASSET program at SCC we are helping meet the demand in industry by training to Ford’s standards and providing certified technicians to their dealerships.”
The vehicles are used by students for the hands-on, classroom training critical to solving mechanical problems they will face in the field, the news release said. In addition to the in-depth classroom work, ASSET students also participate in a paid internship with local Ford dealerships, allowing them to earn money while they learn. The Ford-specific training offers hands-on learning experiences for students pursuing their education in automotive repair professions. Students learn to diagnose, service and maintain Ford and Lincoln automotive products and components, using recommended procedures, special service tools and equipment, and Ford service publications.
Students in the program alternate for six to eight weeks in the classroom and six to eight weeks with their sponsoring Ford or Lincoln dealer over a two-year period. At the end of the two years, they earn an associate degree and in-dealer experience, setting them up for career path with potential opportunities to become a master tech, show foreman, service manager or general manager at dealerships.
“As the automotive service industry continues to grow, job opportunities are increasing,” Smith said in the release. “Today’s vehicles are more technically advanced and use complex systems to control vehicle functions, and technicians require computer and mechanical skills using sophisticated testing equipment to diagnose vehicles. A technician is extremely valuable at a dealership because they directly interact with customers who depend on their technical expertise to keep their vehicle running safely.”