Texarkana College partners with Ford, Toyota for automotive training program

Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 1:37 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - There’s a major need for automotive technicians in the ArkLaTex, and on Tuesday, Sept. 14, one area college and two major automobile companies began work to fill that need.

The curriculum for students enrolled in the auto technician class at Texarkana College is becoming more intense as the school enters into a partnership with Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation.

“Our number one priority is making sure we play our role in economic development and growing the workforce,” said Brandon Washington, dean of workforce at Texarkana College.

The partnership was announced Tuesday morning. Washington says it will give students access to the same training the two automotive giants provide to their technicians. McClarty Ford and Robbins Toyota, both dealerships in Texarkana, are donating new vehicles to the college for training purposes.

“There is a huge need for technicians in the area,” said Todd Shores, owner of McClarty Ford.

Shores says they’re hoping the partnership will provide a better-trained workforce.

“Cars are getting more complicated and we need employees just like every other dealership in the area,” he said.

A spokesman for the Ford Motor Company workforce development says a lack of skilled technicians is a nationwide problem. He says there’s a need for 100,000 new automotive technicians each year.

“There is not one automotive repair facility, whether it is a dealership or independent, that is not hiring technicians at this time; the demand is huge,” said John Tostaniski with Ford.

The automotive technology program at Texarkana College is one year long; scholarships are available.

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