Malloy Ford Donates Auto Lift to Auto Service Tech Program

Malloy Ford donated an automotive twin post lift to Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center’s (CATEC) Automotive Service Technology program in August. When Malloy Ford moved from its Pantops location to its new 2070 Seminole Trail space, it was an easy decision to donate to the Auto Service Tech program its retired lift. A CATEC Auto Service Tech Advisory Board member and Malloy Ford representative knew that the program’s current lift was not meeting the program’s needs and thought their lift would be a great addition to CATEC’s shop. Auto Service Tech Instructor Matt Richardson says the new lift will “bring real life experiences to students entering the automotive industry after graduation.”

Active in CATEC’s Auto Service Tech Advisory Board

Last year, Malloy Ford gave the Auto Service Tech program two complete engines on which students will practice their skills taking apart the engines. Malloy Ford is very active in CATEC’s Auto Service Tech Advisory Board, including participating in its interview events and hiring current and recent program graduates. In September, Malloy Ford hired current Auto Service Tech second year student, Alex Wiesniewski, to work in its service shop. CATEC’s Auto Service Technology classes use Ford’s Automotive Career Exploration program to educate students to service Ford vehicles. This web-based program gives students the opportunity to study a similar curriculum currently taught to dealership technicians. Ford has recognized CATEC as a school that has a 95% program participation rate.

The Auto Service Tech program boasts a robust enrollment, with students earning 25 dual-enrollment college credits from J. Sargeant Reynolds Community College. Students earn college credits for curriculum including automotive systems, climate control, electricity, and engine repair, and braking systems. Students also earn up to 10 Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) industry credentials. ASE industry testing is specially designed to evaluate and certify students who are studying in the automotive service industry. The ASE Education Foundation, in partnership with career and technical education advocate SkillsUSA, developed the exams to help students access professional credentials. They are a first step for students interested in building a career as an automotive service professional because they earn their first industry-recognized certifications before graduating from high school. These credentials make CATEC Auto Service Tech students marketable to local shops both during and after graduation.

A Newly-Accredited Program

CATEC’s Auto Service Tech program just completed its five-year National Automotive Technician Education Foundation (NATEF) accreditation. NATEF’s accreditation process is designed to evaluate the automotive service program’s structure, processes, resources, materials, and mission. Successful programs are built on collaboration between the instructor, industry experts, students, and community support. CATEC’s Auto Service Tech Advisory Board, which Malloy Ford has been a strong supporter of, encourages our program and bridges the gap between real world industry needs and classroom curriculum. On average, Virginia boasts a higher annual income for automotive service technicians than the national average with a projected 11% job growth.

The Collision Repair Education Foundation and 3M Donate Thousands of Dollars in Supplies to Auto Body Repair Program

The Collision Repair Education Foundation grant program, through Inter-Industry Conference on Auto Collision Repair (I-CAR), generously donated thousands of dollars’ worth of 3M supplies to Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center’s (CATEC) Automotive Body Repair program this past week.

CATEC auto body students and their new supplies

Introducing Auto Body Students to New Materials

Auto Body Repair program instructor Ronald Moore says the donation will enable his students to “do more projects and be introduced to many different types and kinds of sandpaper.” Moore says these products are not normally available to students because of costs. Donated items include many different types and sizes of sandpaper including wet sandpaper, dry sandpaper, and grinding sandpaper. Moore says the sandpaper is “needed for all areas of instruction from dent repair to color sanding final paint for polishing.”

Auto Body Repair program students take I-CAR Professional Development Program classes throughout the school year, earning industry certificates as they learn. Students can earn up to 20 certifications, making students more marketable when looking to begin their careers. I-CAR is an international not-for-profit organization focused on providing information, knowledge and skills required to perform complete, safe and quality repairs. I-CAR’s focus is to provide everyone involved in the collision repair industry with high-quality, industry-recognized training.

Making a Difference in Student Readiness

Shannon Tomlin, CATEC’s Career Center Specialist, says that the donated supplies will “make a difference in the quality and level of readiness for every student entering the industry.” CATEC’s Auto Body Repair program is a two to three-year course that covers competencies enabling students to enter the Auto Body industry after high school, or sometimes even before graduation. Students have opportunities to earn high school credit and income while attending CATEC when they enter internships with local Auto Body shops in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville Elks Lodge Donates 350 Pairs of Safety Glasses

The Charlottesville Elks Lodge once again generously donated safety glasses to Charlottesville-Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) for the 2019-2020 school year. Four of CATEC’s program areas will be able to use the 350 donated pairs. The Elks Lodge has been donating safety glasses to CATEC for many years.

Safety at CATEC

Practicing industry safety is an important aspect of training young professionals at CATEC. Built into their industry competencies, our Building Trades and Electrical, Automotive Body Repair, and Automotive Service Technical instructors strive to meet industry standards on day one. Building Trades and Electrical instructor Sidney Trimmer says the donation “helps us save about $200 a year for safety glasses. We use them every day.” CATEC will be able to use instructional funds to cover other essential needs that will prepare its students for the workforce.

The Charlottesville Albemarle Technical Education Center (CATEC) is a regional technical education center, which helps high school students and adults obtain the jobs they seek. Our centralized, unified career development program helps students develop strategic approaches to cultivating their careers. CATEC was founded in 1973 and serves students from both Albemarle County Schools and Charlottesville City Schools.