November 26, 2022


Born to perform

Augusta Tech expands footprint into former dealership; automotive program to be ready to roll in 2023

3 min read


Flanked by students in Augusta Tech's automotive technology program, school President Dr. Jermaine Whirl (left) and Jim Hudson, founder of Jim Hudson Automotive Group, hold an oversized $1 million donation check at Jim Hudson Lexus on Thursday.

Flanked by students in Augusta Tech’s automotive technological innovation application, college President Dr. Jermaine Whirl (left) and Jim Hudson, founder of Jim Hudson Automotive Team, keep an oversized $1 million donation look at at Jim Hudson Lexus on Thursday.

By early future year, Augusta Tech’s new automotive technological innovation campus will renovate a former Walton Way vehicle dealership into a simulated understanding atmosphere.

The faculty ceremonially accepted a $1 million donation for the challenge – at first announced in April – from Columbia, S.C.-dependent Jim Hudson Automotive Group, whose 10 dealership locations contain 3 in Augusta.

“Anybody can sell a motor vehicle,” enterprise founder and principal Jim Hudson mentioned in the showroom of his Lexus dealership on Washington Road. “It can take a genuinely very good technician to retain it offered.”

What was not disclosed in April was the place the automotive technology campus would be positioned. Augusta Tech a short while ago acquired the former Johnson Motor Co., a Cadillac supplier that closed its spot in 2021 at the edge of the city’s Laney-Walker community.

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Johnson Motor Co., which closed in the summer of 2021, sits empty on Walton Way in Augusta on June 22. The former Cadillac dealership will be the home of Augusta Tech's expanded automotive technology campus.

Johnson Motor Co., which shut in the summertime of 2021, sits empty on Walton Way in Augusta on June 22. The former Cadillac dealership will be the home of Augusta Tech’s expanded automotive technologies campus.

Hudson’s $1 million, coupled with a separate $1 million donation from Augusta National Golfing Club also introduced in April, will fund much of the construction and renovation prices to entire the new campus by the conclude of the year, Tech President Dr. Jermaine Whirl stated.

A increasing job industry

The enlargement of Tech’s automotive software arrives at a time when in-demand from customers mend employees are expected to have bigger skill sets to execute get the job done on progressively technologically-state-of-the-art vehicles. Electric and hybrid motor vehicles will be among the rising systems studied in higher depth at Tech.

About 69,000 openings for automotive company specialists and mechanics are anticipated nationally every yr, on typical, through the close of the decade, in accordance to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Stats.

Organizing the new campus followed months of discussions with area car sellers, transit businesses and other business stakeholders to gauge their interest in encouraging increase the car-maintenance talent pool in the Augusta location, Whirl said.

The plan also will introduce “OEM,” or original devices producer training, so learners can get paid certifications to function on certain tends to make and designs of cars. Presently most OEM education is offered only in other metropolitan areas or states, and there is no assure that a worker who leaves Augusta to coach will return to his Augusta career when coaching is full, in accordance to Whirl.

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It is really not a new model

Turning auto dealerships into classroom room is new, but not exclusive. In 2019, Moore Tech in Memphis, Tenn., opened its car technology school in what utilized to be a Honda dealership. Oklahoma’s Tulsa Technological know-how Heart opened a satellite campus in 2013 in an old dealership developing, but the spot provides non-automotive classes.

Placing Augusta-space students in the qualified habitat of a former vehicle dealership will add to one more function of Tech’s new system, which will teach students on the organization side of the automotive sector, for people today who want to turn into sales administrators, finance supervisors or owners of auto dealerships.

Tech’s larger car campus will be capable to accommodate extra automotive college students from its Augusta and Waynesboro campuses. Tech automotive teacher Taylor Bryant stated the application currentl
y teaches 50-55 students who jockey for do the job place in 1 of the school’s 10 service bays in a 10,000-square-foot facility.

The new campus, measuring about 67,000 square toes, will have between 35 and 40 provider bays, he mentioned.

“It’s 1 of the major issues to occur to our plan in its background, and I simply cannot wait to see what we’ll be in a position to do with community investments like this,” Bryant mentioned.

This posting at first appeared on Augusta Chronicle: Augusta Tech’s bigger automotive application revving up in 2023


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