Image by Jim Hudson Automotive Group

A dealership group in South Carolina and Georgia has donated $1 million to a local technical college to develop the future generation. Jim Hudson Automotive Group committed to donating the money to Augusta Technical College Foundation to support a new facility for Automotive Technology. 

The facility intends to train students in positions at the dealership level. A current program offers a diploma in automotive technology that prepares students for entry-level positions, and the new facility would expand on basic principles for specialties. Those fields include climate control, electric/electronic systems, engine repair, light-duty diesel engine repair, chassis, transmission/transaxle, and hybrid/electric vehicle repair.

But the program goes beyond just mechanic positions. It will provide management training and teach about business practices, plus the day-to-day skills for working in service positions within a dealership. The goal is to become an OEM training provider for car manufacturers. The facility expects to offer 16 programs for around 1,270 annually.

Dr. Jermaine Whirl is the president of Augusta Technical College. He states, “Our plans are to operate a fully simulated automotive dealership. The ability to service cars from residents in the community with full CRM systems, feedback from students with coaching from their faculty, and training professionals in the business of the industry is a forward-thinking approach to training the next generation of automotive professionals. 

“We’re also looking to add a number of continuing education ASE certification offerings for incumbent workers too. We’re thankful to Mr. Hudson for his contribution in making these plans a reality!”

Community-focused initiative from local dealer

The donation was initiated by the founder of the Jim Hudson Automotive Group, Jim Hudson. He said, “Cars have always been in my blood, and this partnership with Augusta Technical College will allow young men and women to be educated and trained in the automotive world. Our company was built on three pillars: our employees, our customers, and the community. My main objective with this donation is to strengthen our community and for us to see a lasting impact on the future.”

The development of skilled automotive staff will be a bonus for the local Laney Walker neighborhood that’s been at the center of a transformation. It’s historically an area rife with poverty and higher than average crime rates, and initiatives like skills training can help residents on a different path.

Second million-dollar donation this month

In addition to the donation from Jim Hudson Automotive Group, Augusta Technical College was recently blessed with another million-dollar gift from the Augusta National Golf Club. While the project’s total cost is not known, $2 million will go a long way in setting it on the path to success. 

Augusta Technical College Foundation Chairman Randy Hatcher stated, “The Augusta Technical College Foundation is excited and honored to be a part of the restoration story in our community. Along with our foundational investment partners, the Jim Hudson Foundation, we will be creating a better life for the students who learn here and a better workforce for the employers who need these in-demand skills. At the same time, we are reinvesting in a geographic part of our community that needs all of our help. We invite others to come along, and be a part of this exciting, transformational story.”

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