A $1 million gift from the Augusta National Golf Club will help Augusta Technical College establish an automotive service training center in the city’s Laney-Walker neighborhood.
Expected to open later this year, the training facility “will offer 16 certification programs to approximately 1,270 students annually as the region’s leading automotive training center,” the National and Augusta Tech announced Wednesday in a joint press release.
The center will be located in the Laney Walker neighborhood, a historically Black neighborhood on the outskirts of the Medical District. There were no details on how much it would cost to create.
Augusta Tech currently offers a diploma in automotive technology that students can pursue at the school’s Augusta or Waynesboro campuses, according to Tech. Successful graduates of the program are qualified to work as entry-level automotive technicians at, for instance, dealerships, and fleet and independent repair shops.
Students can then pursue seven additional technical certificates of credit, allowing them to develop skills in specific automotive areas, such as chassis; climate control; electric/electronic systems; engine repair; light-duty diesel engine repair; transmission/transaxle and hybrid/electric vehicle repair.
About 69,000 openings for automotive service technicians and mechanics are projected each year, on average, through 2030, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
“The center will offer affordable access to career training, certification and job placement to help meet the growing need for automotive technicians and professionals in the area,” Fred S. Ridley, chairman of the Augusta National, said Wednesday morning during the annual chairman’s addresss at the club.
The contribution “allows the center to begin operations in 2022,” he said.
“The Augusta Technical College family is honored and humbled that Augusta National Golf Club has made this significant investment in improving the lives of the students we serve, while helping us transform the workforce learning environment for years to come,” said Augusta Tech President Dr. Jermaine Whirl.
The National has helped fund past efforts to improve and develop Augusta’s Laney-Walker and Harrisburg neighborhoods. The club’s joint $10 million gift with AT&T, Bank of America and IBM helped construct the $33.5 million HUB for Community Innovation campus to house several local nonprofits.
This article originally appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Augusta National gives Augusta Tech $1M to expand auto technician training