Thanks to a recent donation from local car dealership Price Ford, students taking automotive classes at Turlock High School will now have the opportunity to expand their hands-on knowledge of vehicles.
The business stopped by the THS auto shop on Wednesday morning to gift the school with a 2013 Ford Fiesta to be used for learning in two classes at the school, an auto service technician class and an auto body repair class. Price Ford owner and General Manager James Figurell said that the idea for the donation was crafted after speaking with THS principal Gabe Ontiveros and Industrial Technology instructor Dean Massey, both of whom shared stories of previous students discovering a passion for the automotive repair industry in the school’s Auto Service Technician program and using the platform to launch their careers.
“After that meeting, it was clear that we could help with their curriculum by donating a vehicle,” Figurell said. “We are proud to be a part of this program to offer students hands-on training and education for our field.”
The new initiative is part of the Ford Automotive Career Exploration, or ACE, program, which allows students to obtain valuable knowledge of Ford Motor Company operating systems free of charge by completing web-based training via Ford’s Learning Management System. The courses are a subset of the same curriculum for technicians across the country and provide the latest training used in the industry.
The Ford ACE program aims to help alleviate the growing need for trained auto technicians. According to the “Automotive News,” car dealerships across the country are having trouble recruiting and keeping younger technicians, all while baby boomer technicians retire.
“The automotive repair industry is currently experiencing tremendous growth and with this partnership, our students who wish to pursue the automotive industry as a mechanic or technician will leave THS with a competitive edge and self-confidence, ready to enter automotive repair training programs. We sincerely thank Price Ford for this partnership and donation to THS students,” Ontiveros said.
Price Ford has helped out both Turlock and Denair schools before, hosting annual fundraisers for THS, Pitman High School and Denair High School where each test drive of a vehicle earns the campus some cash. For this particular gift, the business worked for the last eight months to provide a late model Ford Fiesta for student training purposes.
“We are so excited to be a part of this program,” Massey said. “This is a huge step forward for Turlock High and my students. We’re so fortunate to be part of a community partnership with a fine dealership with a sterling reputation like Price Ford.”