The students in the Auto Service Program at Northeast Technology Center’s Pryor Campus were quite surprised to find a brand new Ford Mustang sitting in their shop on Monday morning.
“It was crazy,” said Jerimi Stokes of Claremore. “It’s brand new, and it will be a good learning experience for us to practice on a new car.”
The car – a 2016 Mustang – is equipped with a 3.7 liter engine and was donated to NTC by the Ford Motor Company. NTC is the only CareerTech in the state that offers the Ford Maintenance and Repair Program certification, and the donation came about as a result of this partnership. A representative from Ford contacted NTC’s Auto Service Instructor, Alex Schmidt, and the vehicle was delivered free of charge over the weekend.
“This car will be used as a trainer vehicle for our students, enabling them to practice their skills on a newer car,” Schmidt said. “The last car we obtained for use as a trainer was donated – also by Ford – in 2009, so we were due for a new one.”
Despite minor damage, most likely from hail, the car is valued at more than $26,000 and will be a significant savings for Schmidt’s program.
“We keep these cars for as long as possible – a number of years – to use as training tools for our students,” Schmidt said. “As the car starts wearing out from use, we remove the major assemblies and continue using those parts as trainers for our students.”
Locust Grove student Melissa Monk is one of the students who will benefit from the donation.
“I like this program, because you get to do hands-on activities,” Monk said. “You get down and dirty to find the source of the problem, and when you fix it, you feel really good that you were able to solve the problem.”
Pryor student Denny Holden has a passion for cars, and he too is looking forward to training on a newer model of vehicle.
“I enrolled to learn about autos and how to fix them,” Holden said. “I’m excited to use this car as a trainer that will teach me more about modern-day cars.”
Thanks to the partnership with Ford, students enrolled in the Auto Repair Program at Pryor are not only benefitting from donated equipment, they also have the opportunity to obtain 37 different Ford certifications before completing the program at NTC.
“We don’t just teach repair on Ford vehicles, but these certifications are a major plus for our kids,” said Schmidt who has more than 300 Ford certifications. “We have several students who’ve already been hired at dealerships – even before they’ve graduated – so I think it’s safe to say this program gives them an edge over the competition.”