Augusta Technical College announced its plans for a new Center for Automotive Excellence on November 1, during a soft launch event. The center will be named the Jim Hudson Automotive Institute, after the Jim Hudson Automotive Group, which donated $1 million to the project.
The new institute will offer comprehensive training for automotive technicians in various fields, such as electric and hybrid vehicles, diesel engines, motorcycles, watercraft, and autobody and paint. The institute will also include a “live work” program, where students can gain hands-on experience working with customers.
Workforce development programs like this are important for driving a healthy economy and helping communities to thrive. Dr. Jermaine Whirl, President of Augusta Technical College, said that the Jim Hudson Automotive Institute will be a national model for automotive instruction and help address the shortage of trained auto technicians. “No other college is offering this range of training both on the technical and business sides of the industry in one location,” he said.
Augusta Technical College currently offers a diploma and several technical certificates of credit programs in automotive technology. These offerings will be expanded to include more programs in the new institute. The college also plans to add automotive-industry specific classes to its Associate of Applied Science degrees in the School of Business. The institute will also provide noncredit training and upskilling through the college’s Division of Economic Development.
Dr. Whirl said that the institute will attract students and employers from across the region and the nation. “We are already hearing from companies throughout the region who say they will hire our graduates and send their current employees to us for training,” he said. “We will have the space and the flexibility to offer everything from intensive boot camps and summer programs to school children to college degrees. This truly is a game changer.”
The institute will be located at 1122 Walton Way, the former site of Johnson Cadillac. The college also received $1 million each from the Augusta National Golf Club and the Knox Foundation to acquire the facility earlier this year. Companies and individuals who are interested in additional funding partnership opportunities should contact the Augusta Tech Foundation, firstname.lastname@example.org.