Warren County Technical School was recently awarded a $10,000 grant to fund improvements to the school’s automotive vocational program.
The grant came from Ingersoll Rand, a global leader in power tools and the Official Power Tools of NASCAR.
Warren Tech, which also co-hosts an automotive associates program with Warren County Community College, used the funds from the Real Tools for Schools grant to improve both the automotive classrooms and courses. The grant was used to update equipment, supplies, and curricula, and provide instructor training.
Warren Tech joined with WCCC three years ago to add an Associate Degree element to its automotive technology curriculum. In addition to the four years of high school automotive training the high school offers its students, it also offers WCCC’s Associate of Applied Science Automotive Technology program. Both automotive programs are taught in the automotive shop located at Warren County Technical School.
“For us to be effective, we look to the industry for advice and support,” said Robert Glowacky, superintendent of Warren County Technical School. “With diminishing vocational and technical program funding and overall flat budgets, we need the financial help and this grant helps the program greatly.”
“We are very appreciative of this grant,” added Dr. Will Austin, president of WCCC. “This is truly a direct benefit to students from both institutions.”
“We used the grant money to refurbish a room separate from the automotive shop at Warren County Technical School and changed it into a working classroom,” noted Tim Longacre, who teaches automotive technology for both schools. “We purchased new desks, chairs, a projector and storage cabinets. The dedicated classroom currently serves 75 students and will help serve many, many more in years to come.”
Since 2014, there has been a nationwide decline in enrollment in vocational automotive programs due to a lack of teachers, restricted school budgets, high operational costs and other factors. Yet, automotive technology is becoming increasingly sophisticated, and employers prefer to hire automotive technicians and mechanics who have completed a formal training program.
“These students are the future of the automotive technology industry. Ingersoll Rand is proud to support technical education for students that prepares them for success and enhances job readiness,” says Donny Simmons, president of Ingersoll Rand Power Tools.
The Ingersoll Rand Real Tools for Schools program is sponsored by the Ingersoll Rand Foundation and the company’s Power Tools business to enhance education for students in automotive technology programs. The program provides grants of up to $10,000 per school and has awarded a total of $120,000 to schools across the country so far. In addition to the grants, Ingersoll Rand Power Tools employees are partnering with participating high schools to deliver seminars, hands-on training and learning enrichment experiences for students enrolled in automotive technician programs.