Friday, January 11, 2008

Delphi Recognizes Future Technicians

Yesterday, Tomorrow's Technician editor, Ed Sunkin and I drove through a driving rain to meet with Delphi representatives, Marissa Sura and Doug Vidler, at the Tennessee Technology Center in Jackson, TN. Through the generosity of Delphi, we were able to bring the future of the automotive aftermarket to life for Instructor Ronnie Bush and his automotive class at TTC-Jackson. Tomorrow's Technician selected the class as the winner of our monthly pop quiz, and Delphi awarded the class with $3,500 in tools and equipment. Delphi gave them a new Air Conditioning Diagnostic Tool and a J2534 Universal Reprogrammer, as well as individual "goody bags" for each student. We presented them with an attractive plaque for their classroom, as well as the tools and equipment, followed by a training seminar presented by Doug Vidler. Then, to the delight of everyone, pizza and pop were served!

After that, Dr. Don Williams, Director, and Ronnie Bush, gave us a full tour of their facility. The Technology Center is located on a spacious campus, near the local airstrip. They are the 4th largest technical center in Tennessee, having recently surpassed the Knoxville Center in terms of enrollment numbers. Educational programs include automotive technology, collision repair, tool & die, machine tool technology, CAD-CAM, engineering, drafting, HVAC, nursing, computer, and several others. The automotive class included students ranging from high-school-aged men and women to men in their 40's looking to begin an exciting new career in automotive repair service. The automotive classroom included personal computers for each student, and all kinds of repair vehicles, including Ford vehicles, GM vehicles, and a beautiful 50th Anniversary Thunderbird! These students get plenty of desk-time, computer-time AND hands-on time working on cars and trucks. And I have to tell you, they are ENTHUSIASTIC about their future. When, during the presentation, Doug Vidler asked how many wanted to own their own shop, every hand went up.

Mr. Bush runs his classroom like a business and turns out extremely employable people every year. He places 100% of his students in automotive-related jobs when they graduate from his program.

Thanks again to all who played a part in bringing this together. It was a fun way to show our combined commitment to the future of our industry. I wish more suppliers within our community would make a similar commitment.

By the way, Delphi has made a commitment to the future of our industry by sponsoring the same program in 2008. Anyone else interested in betting on our future ?

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