Automotive Training Center Expansion is Underway at SCC
It’s common knowledge that education and industry working together equates to opportunity and success. Students get the education they seek, industry gets the trained workforce they need, and the economy reaps the rewards.
Right now at the northwestern corner of Shoreline Community College you can see the effects of this kind of partnership in action. Thanks to state funding and the commitment of local dealerships and private donors, a $4.2 million expansion of the college’s Professional Automotive Training Center is underway.
Although construction is in its early phase, the size of the 22,000+ square foot addition is easy to visualize. Concrete flooring is already in place on both the northern and western sides of the original structure. The concrete tilt-up walls are also currently being framed. The pouring of the walls is planned for July 2, with July 8 slated for tilting them into place
The western portion of the addition will be a two-story structure that will be home to Toyota Corporation's training quad. Classroom space for the college's Toyota T-TEN Program will occupy a generous portion of the floor as will six training quads for corporate upgrade training for Toyota, Hyundai, Kia and Volvo, and Snap-on Industrial and Hunter Engineering. The area will also provide space for restrooms and a storage room for tools and equipment for the college programs. The upper floor will provide badly needed faculty offices as well as a dining area that will be used for corporate events. The northern addition will provide an additional eight bays for college training programs.
Construction of the new facility is in the hands of the competent Sierra Construction Company, a Woodinville based general contractor and construction management company that specializes in commercial, industrial and tenant improvement construction. They have done renovation work for Bellevue and Lower Columbia community colleges as well as Washington State University and others, and came highly recommended.
The addition is in response to a significant shortfall of qualified technicians the state has been facing for several years.
“Dealerships throughout the Pacific Northwest have seen the effects of a workforce that cannot meet the needs of our communities,” said Jim Hammond, President of the Puget Sound Automobile Dealers
Association, a proactive organization that supports dealerships. “We realized that we could help out by providing more training and that in order to do so, we needed a larger training facility. We are so grateful to Toyota Motor Sales USA, PEMCO Insurance, and all the banks, insurance companies and new car dealers who made this possible.”
|The Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association made the expansion possible through a fundraising campaign. $2 million came from the state and $2.2 million from private sources. |
Additionally, enrollment in the college programs has been bursting at the seams for years and dealerships continue to need college facilities for upgrade training for their technicians -- the need for more classrooms and training space is at a premium. The addition will provide training and office space for both the college’s factory-sponsored training programs – Chrysler CAP, General Motors ASEP, Honda PACT and Toyota T-TEN programs, and for dealership and corporate upgrade training.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for our students to have the corporate training right here,” said Don Schultz, Interim Director, Professional
Automotive Training Center, and the man behind the program itself. The onsite programs will provide opportunities for our students to meet and talk with the factory instructors, support their training in the sponsoring dealership, and share technology, tools and vehicles and more. The local economy will benefit as well. “Our partner businesses will send their incumbent workers from across the region for their upgrade training,” he said, which includes Oregon, Montana, Idaho, Alaska and Washington. “These partnerships also support our local economy – our hotels, restaurants, and other businesses.”
|"The expansion of the Professional Automotive Training Center is a perfect example of how partnerships work in the truest sense." Don Schultz, Interim Director, Professional Automotive Training Center Shoreline Community College |
Another bonus for Shoreline students and incumbent workers, Snap-On Tools has partnered with the college and will provide training on automotive diagnostic tools at the college. The Snap-on tools are used widely in industry, not only in the auto industry, but also in the emerging green technology sector, such as wind and solar power. The automotive diagnostic tools company has had a relationship with the college and PSADA for years, donating more than a million dollars worth of tools to the college’s automotive programs. Read more about this partnership online at the On Campus blog at:
Completion is slated for mid-November, however Sierra Construction believes they will have the project completed by Fall Quarter 2009. Upon completion, the auto manufacturers will move in.
The center has garnered national acclaim for its innovative partnerships between industry and the college since its doors opened in 1992. With the reputation as the best automotive program in the country, more than 60 colleges from as far east as New York state and as far north as Alaska have travelled to Shoreline to see firsthand what is happening on the north end of Shoreline’s campus in the Professional Automotive Training Center. All of them have heard about the national awards that keep finding their way to Shoreline and all of them want to learn about the unique partnership between business, industry and education that has made it all possible. Several of these schools have replicated the Professional Automotive Training Center model.
“Without the commitment to industry, we never could have done this,” said Jim Hammond, Executive Director of the Puget Sound Automobile Dealers Association.