May 30, 2024

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Augusta Tech expands footprint into former dealership; automotive program to be ready to roll in 2023


Flanked by students in Augusta Tech's automotive technology program, school President Dr. Jermaine Whirl (left) and Jim Hudson, founder of Jim Hudson Automotive Group, hold an oversized $1 million donation check at Jim Hudson Lexus on Thursday.

Flanked by pupils in Augusta Tech’s automotive know-how system, university President Dr. Jermaine Whirl (still left) and Jim Hudson, founder of Jim Hudson Automotive Team, maintain an outsized $1 million donation examine at Jim Hudson Lexus on Thursday.

By early following calendar year, Augusta Tech’s new automotive technological know-how campus will renovate a former Walton Way automobile dealership into a simulated discovering natural environment.

The college ceremonially acknowledged a $1 million donation for the project – at first declared in April – from Columbia, S.C.-dependent Jim Hudson Automotive Group, whose 10 dealership areas consist of 3 in Augusta.

“Anybody can market a auto,” company founder and principal Jim Hudson stated in the showroom of his Lexus dealership on Washington Road. “It normally takes a definitely superior technician to continue to keep it sold.”

What was not disclosed in April was exactly where the automotive technological innovation campus would be found. Augusta Tech recently obtained the previous Johnson Motor Co., a Cadillac dealer that shut its spot in 2021 at the edge of the city’s Laney-Walker community.

Beforehand: Augusta Nationwide awards Augusta Tech $1 million to extend automotive training

Also: Yet another $1 million gift will help Augusta Tech’s automotive method attain speed

Johnson Motor Co., which closed in the summer of 2021, sits empty on Walton Way in Augusta on June 22. The former Cadillac dealership will be the home of Augusta Tech's expanded automotive technology campus.

Johnson Motor Co., which shut in the summer of 2021, sits vacant on Walton Way in Augusta on June 22. The former Cadillac dealership will be the residence of Augusta Tech’s expanded automotive technological know-how campus.

Hudson’s $1 million, coupled with a separate $1 million donation from Augusta Nationwide Golf Club also declared in April, will fund a lot of the building and renovation prices to total the new campus by the stop of the calendar year, Tech President Dr. Jermaine Whirl claimed.

A increasing work sector

The growth of Tech’s automotive application arrives at a time when in-desire repair employees are predicted to have more substantial skill sets to perform perform on progressively technologically-superior vehicles. Electrical and hybrid motor vehicles will be among the emerging systems analyzed in bigger depth at Tech.

About 69,000 openings for automotive provider professionals and mechanics are anticipated nationally each and every 12 months, on ordinary, as a result of the conclude of the ten years, in accordance to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Preparing the new campus adopted months of discussions with area auto dealers, transit companies and other sector stakeholders to gauge their curiosity in assisting maximize the automobile-fix talent pool in the Augusta location, Whirl reported.

The system also will introduce “OEM,” or primary tools company teaching, so learners can receive certifications to operate on selected can make and products of motor vehicles. Now most OEM training is available only in other metropolitan areas or states, and there’s no promise that a employee who leaves Augusta to train will return to his Augusta task when coaching is finish, according to Whirl.

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It is really not a new model

Turning car dealerships into classroom house is new, but not exceptional. In 2019, Moore Tech in Memphis, Tenn., opened its vehicle engineering university in what utilized to be a Honda dealership. Oklahoma’s Tulsa Engineering Middle opened a satellite campus in 2013 in an old dealership building, but the spot features non-automotive lessons.

Placing Augusta-region pupils in the professional habitat of a previous auto dealership will contribute to another function of Tech’s new software, which will teach students on the business enterprise side of the automotive sector, for individuals who want to come to be revenue supervisors, finance professionals or house owners of car dealerships.

Tech’s much larger car campus will be equipped to accommodate more automotive students from its Augusta and Waynesboro campuses. Tech automotive instructor Taylor Bryant explained the program now teaches 50-55 pupils who jockey for function place in a single of the school’s 10 service bays in a 10,000-sq.-foot facility.

The new campus, measuring about 67,000 sq. ft, will have amongst 35 and 40 services bays, he explained.

“It’s one particular of the largest items to take place to our application in its history, and I cannot wait to see what we’ll be in a position to do with local community investments like this,” Bryant explained.

This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Augusta Tech’s more substantial automotive method revving up in 2023


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