MCC’s $ 32 Million Automotive Technology Training Center Meets Industry Needs

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OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) – Metropolitan Community College’s new automotive training center opened this semester and they believe the industry is paying attention.

“(We’re teaching) what would normally be considered four-year college stuff, electronics, critical thinking, stuff like that,” MCC automotive program coordinator AL Cox said. “This is the entry-level skill set for today’s technician. “

“Right now, they hire our students before they even graduate, sponsor them and help them with the tuition just to get the technicians through the doors,” said Pat Mckibbin, auto collision instructor. “They are very ready to go to work when they leave here. They come out of here with degrees, they come out of here with an associate’s degree, they come out of here with a ton of training on all late car models, so that’s a very good area to be and the industry is very hungry for these people coming out of here right now.

Mckibbin cites more than a dozen potential careers on the crash side alone before saying this program is what a fast-paced industry needs. And he thinks electronics and computers are attracting new groups to the industry.

“Motorists are motorists, but it has become very technical,” said Mckibbin. “Electronics, cars park by themselves now, cars drive by themselves now. There are a ton of electronics in a car, so even kids who like the computer field, it’s not a bad field for them.

The definition of a robot is a machine that can perform a complex series of actions automatically, usually with computers. It means the robots are there and are taking us home.

“There are more computers on cars today than on most space shuttle flights,” Cox said. He said students aren’t the only ones working to stay on top of the latest technology. “Personally, I already have over 80 hours of training outside of educational needs just to stay up to date with today’s automobiles. The average technician probably spends at least 20 to 50 hours a year getting new model updates.

McKibbin agrees.

“Previously, all shade tree mechanics could work on a car,” he said. “There (are) so much electronics and technology in these cars that you have to be trained. Even the senior technicians who are there come back every year for training so they can learn how to work on these new cars. It is continuous training.

In addition to the more than 20 credit courses taught this summer, the MCC training center is also home to the T-Ten program which trains automotive technicians for careers in Toyota and Lexus dealerships.

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