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Durham Tech's Auto program receives grant from Bank of America

Posted September 11, 2014
Updated April 27, 2015

Bank of America helped accelerate Durham Technical Community College’s Automotive Systems Technology Program with a $20,000 grant to train instructors to teach new courses about fixing hybrid and plug-in electric vehicles.

With gas so expensive over the past several years, hybrid and plug-in electric cars are becoming more popular and creating some high-paying jobs that require high-tech skills.

Durham Tech is getting its automotive students ready for the future.

“Automotive never stays the same. It's always changing and we have to stay up with those changes,” Automotive Systems Technology Program director Nathan Smith said.

In the garage, students work on cars and practice the skills they hope will land them good jobs.

“I already liked cars,” said Samuel Vereen, a student in the program. “[I’m] looking toward the engineer side of things. I like that sort of stuff as well.”

The engineering on the cars Vereen admired as a kid is different these days.

“We're becoming greener and more of our students need to have skills in PEV technology,” Durham Tech president Bill Ingram said.

These students and even former students will be able to take the new courses and train for better jobs in the auto industry.

“They will have opportunity not only to more jobs, but a higher paying job,” Smith said.

According to administrators this training could help students make as much as $15 an hour more than a traditional mechanic.

Vereen said the healthy paycheck will be nice and so will a healthier planet.

“We need to move toward more green vehicles and more green everything really,” Vereen said.

The automotive programs new courses could begin as early as January.


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