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 students in Augusta Tech’s automotive technological innovation software, university President Dr. Jermaine Whirl (still left) and Jim Hudson, founder of Jim Hudson Automotive Group, keep an oversized $1 million donation examine at Jim Hudson Lexus on Thursday.

By early upcoming 12 months, Augusta Tech’s new automotive technology campus will completely transform a former Walton Way auto dealership into a simulated understanding setting.

The college ceremonially acknowledged a $1 million donation for the undertaking – at first declared in April – from Columbia, S.C.-based mostly Jim Hudson Automotive Team, whose 10 dealership areas incorporate three in Augusta.

“Anybody can market a car or truck,” firm founder and principal Jim Hudson stated in the showroom of his Lexus dealership on Washington Street. “It takes a really good technician to maintain it sold.”

What was not disclosed in April was in which the automotive know-how campus would be found. Augusta Tech not too long ago procured the former Johnson Motor Co., a Cadillac supplier that shut its place in 2021 at the edge of the city’s Laney-Walker community.

Earlier: Augusta National awards Augusta Tech $1 million to increase automotive education

Also: A different $1 million present will help Augusta Tech’s automotive plan obtain velocity

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 closed in the summer months of 2021, sits empty on Walton Way in Augusta on June 22. The former Cadillac dealership will be the property of Augusta Tech’s expanded automotive technology campus.

Hudson’s $1 million, coupled with a separate $1 million donation from Augusta National Golf Club also declared in April, will fund substantially of the building and renovation expenditures to entire the new campus by the conclude of the year, Tech President Dr. Jermaine Whirl said.

A increasing job current market

The enlargement of Tech’s automotive method comes at a time when in-need fix employees are predicted to have much larger ability sets to accomplish get the job done on significantly technologically-superior motor vehicles. Electric powered and hybrid vehicles will be amongst the rising systems researched in better depth at Tech.

About 69,000 openings for automotive provider professionals and mechanics are anticipated nationally just about every 12 months, on regular, by way of the conclude of the 10 years, in accordance to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Studies.

Arranging the new campus followed months of discussions with neighborhood car dealers, transit firms and other field stakeholders to gauge their interest in encouraging enhance the auto-fix talent pool in the Augusta spot, Whirl claimed.

The application also will introduce “OEM,” or first tools manufacturer education, so college students can generate certifications to work on specified tends to make and versions of automobiles. At present most OEM coaching is made available only in other cities or states, and there is no promise that a worker who leaves Augusta to prepare will return to his Augusta task when teaching is complete, in accordance to Whirl.

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It can be not a new design

Turning car dealerships into classroom room is new, but not unique. In 2019, Moore Tech in Memphis, Tenn., opened its vehicle technology school in what utilized to be a Honda dealership. Oklahoma’s Tulsa Technological know-how Center opened a satellite campus in 2013 in an old dealership making, but the locale offers non-automotive lessons.

Placing Augusta-spot college students in the professional habitat of a previous motor vehicle dealership will add to one more attribute of Tech’s new method, which will teach pupils on the business enterprise side of the automotive field, for persons who want to turn into sales professionals, finance managers or homeowners of auto dealerships.

Tech’s larger vehicle campus will be ready to accommodate more automotive pupils from its Augusta and Waynesboro campuses. Tech automotive instructor Taylor Bryant mentioned the system at present teaches 50-55 college students who jockey for get the job done house in a person of the school’s 10 service bays in a 10,000-square-foot facility.

The new campus, measuring about 67,000 sq. ft, will have involving 35 and 40 assistance bays, he mentioned.

“It’s 1 of the largest items to materialize to our system in its record, and I can’t wait to see what we’ll be capable to do with group investments like this,” Bryant said.

This post originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Augusta Tech’s bigger automotive application revving up in 2023


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