GOLDSBORO - Wayne Community College's automotive training repertoire now includes Ford.
WCC is the latest college to have access to Ford Automotive Career Exploration (ACE), thanks to sponsorship by Deacon Jones Ford in Goldsboro.
"If we have students who are interested in Ford, we can teach them some Ford skills," said Ernie White, dean of WCC's Applied Technologies Division.
"Our company has been partners with Wayne Community College for many years now," said Paul Newton, the corporate director for fixed operations at Deacon Jones Auto Group.
"During this time, we have supported all of their current manufacturers' training programs for automotive technicians and we have experienced great success in recruiting their graduates to our dealerships."
"We are also looking forward to becoming a huge partner with WCC as it relates to the new Ford Motor Company's ACE program for automotive technician development,” Newton said.
The web-based modules offer some of the same specialty training provided to technicians working at Ford dealerships. Students earn a certificate for each module completed and will be given credit for those courses by any Ford dealership at which they go to work.
"We're excited about this," said Kevin Jordan, chair of WCC's Transportation Department. "Our students will graduate with 70 percent of Ford's web-based training. That is pretty impressive,"
ACE instruction will be embedded into the college's Automotive Systems Technology - ATEP (Automotive Technician Education Program) program beginning in Fall 2021 but students will be able to start taking advantage of the modules this semester.
ATEP provides multiple manufacturer training in which students learn general automotive maintenance, diagnostic, and repair techniques.
They have the advantage of the Nissan Technician Training Academy program and Mopar® Career Automotive Program (Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep®, Ram, FIAT® and Alfa Romeo) that have also been incorporated into the curriculum.
Graduates receive associate degrees and are prepared to take ASE (National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence) certification exams and enter the industry as a mid-level automotive technician.
Some of the courses may also be used in WCC's Collision Repair and Refinishing program.
As a sponsoring dealership, Deacon Jones Ford is required to participate in certain activities at the college such as serving on the program's advisory board, speaking to classes, attending career events, supporting high school recruiting, and providing job shadowing opportunities.
According to Jordan, the dealership's relationship with the college has been strong and the dealership already does all of the required activities and more.
"They are going to do the things they have always been doing,” Jordan said.
He also noted that one student is doing his required work-based learning at Deacon Jones Ford and two graduates are employed there.