Photo caption, left to right: Russell McCaffery, dean of transportation programs at Broward College; Jim DeChant, major gift officer; Rashunn Humphrey, Broward College student; Elisabeth Eisleben, president of Advance Auto Parts Foundation; and Anthea Pennant, associate vice president of advancement services at Broward College
Advance Auto Parts Foundation, the philanthropic arm of Advance Auto Parts, announced a $300,000 gift to Broward College aimed at increasing participation in the school’s automotive technology program, as well as providing needed tools and equipment to support student learning.
Starting this fall, the Advance Auto Parts Foundation’s gift will help 10 students enrolling in the automotive technology program over the next two years by funding $5,000 scholarships for each student to offset educational expenses. The scholarships will be supplemented by a separate stipend for each selected scholarship recipient, which will help cover the costs of tools and toolboxes needed to complete their coursework.
The Advance Auto Parts Foundation gift also will support a dedicated, part-time recruiter at Broward College to help build enrollment for automotive technology programs and the purchase of general-use vehicles, equipment and supplies needed to support student studies.
“The Advance Auto Parts Foundation is committed to raising awareness, attracting talent and enabling career opportunities in the automotive technology field,” said Elisabeth Eisleben, president, Advance Auto Parts Foundation. “By providing resources and support to Broward College, we hope to inspire students from all backgrounds and experiences to explore careers in automotive service and repair, which will help address the technician shortage and benefit our industry and society as a whole.”
The partnership comes at a critical time as the United States currently faces a worsening shortage of automotive technicians. In fact, according to TechForce, the nation could see a shortage of 642,000 technicians by 2024, if trends continue.
“Advance Auto Parts Foundation’s generous gift of $300,000 will uplift our students in our automotive technology program, providing them with incredible opportunities,” said Gregory Adam Haile, Broward College president. “A donation like this changes lives. With access to scholarships and resources we are empowering our students and preparing them for success by positioning them in careers that fuel our economy.”
Automotive-technician jobs offer competitive pay and the satisfaction of helping customers get their vehicles back on the road safely. The Broward College gift stands as the Advance Auto Parts Foundation’s second gift to a community college to support the expansion of automotive-technology degree programs.
“This donation will enable us to grow our program by recruiting more students, as well as provide our students with more financial aid, tools and vehicles for our hands-on learning model,” said Russell McCaffery, dean, Broward College Transportation Programs. “Upon graduation, our alumni are ready for employment. South Florida offers a competitive starting salary in the industry with room for growth and there is a great need to fill automotive technician positions.”
Broward College offers an associate of applied science (AAS) in automotive technology degree program and a master technical program for current ASE-certified technicians who can apply their work experience toward an AAS degree.
The automotive technology program provides a highly technical, interactive approach to learning that prepares students for the rapidly changing automotive services industry. It is designed to help students train to be qualified automotive technicians, prepare for immediate employment upon graduation and receive the necessary coursework to pursue automotive service management positions in the future. In the past five years, more than 200 students have graduated from the program.
For more information, visit www.broward.edu.