The Automotive Technology Program at Owens Community College has been selected the national winner of the 1997 American Vocational Association/American Automobile Manufacturers Association Industry Planning Council's "Award for Excellence".
The manufacturer-affiliated program at Owens Community College was designated as the top Automotive Technology Program in the United States over hundreds of automotive programs at other colleges and schools, according to Dr. Paul V. Unger, Vice President of Academic Affairs.
"We are very proud of this unique distinction for our program," Dr. Unger said. "This is the second of our Industrial Technologies programs to receive a national honor."
The automotive program now joins Owens' Diesel Technology Program in being named as the best in the nation. In March, the Diesel Technology Program received the Chairman's Award of Excellence from the National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence, designating it the top diesel program in the United States.
Ford Motor Co., General Motors, BP ProCare and Anderson Tireman all have established national partnerships with the Owens automotive program to specifically train their area employees at the College, said Roy Marks, chair of the Automotive Technology Program.
"Through classroom and lab experience at Owens, plus hands-on, co-op experience at the individual dealerships, our partnerships prepare students to keep pace with rapid advancements in the industry," Marks explained.
With 14 full and part-time faculty members, the Automotive Technology Program prepares students to diagnose, service and repair modern automobiles and light trucks. Classes focus on electrical, fuel, emissions and mechanical systems. Graduates are prepared for careers in operations, maintenance, service, testing, diagnosis and development and earn an Associate Degree of Applied Science.
Automotive Technology one-year certificates also are offered in specific areas of study so students may obtain positions as technicians in businesses focusing on a particular vehicle system, component or general service.
Marks said automotive technicians currently are in great demand in the job market. Every year, thousands of well-paid and rewarding technician positions at these companies are left unfilled due to a shortage of qualified applicants.
"The Automotive Technology Program prepares our students to become well-trained technicians, serving the needs of hundreds of area employers in providing highly-skilled employees," Marks said. "And we very are pleased that organizations such as the American Vocational Association and the American Automobile Manufacturers Association recognize the high quality we strive to maintain."
The Owens program will receive $10,000 in tools and equipment and will be recognized at the national convention of the American Vocational Association on December 11 in Las Vegas, Nevada.
For more information on the automotive programs at Owens Community College, call (567) 661-7777 or 1-800-GO-OWENS, Ext. 7777.