Automotive Technology students at the Delaware Area Career Center were given a new tool to train on Thursday afternoon, a new 2024 Lincoln Aviator.
The vehicle was donated to the school by Ford Motor Company through Byers Ford, who has sponsored the program at the DACC in the past.
Automotive instructor Robert Swonger said the vehicle will provide an opportunity for DACC automotive students to study the newest technology and computer systems.
“It’s great because it’s a chance to look at the latest technology that’s available in the automotive industry,” Swonger said. “It’s incredibly important. Everything they are going to do on a modern car involves some kind of computer system, even basic maintenance.”
Andy Chrzanowski, a technical placement specialist at Ford, said minor flood damage made the vehicle unsellable, and the DACC was chosen to get the vehicle because of its high student placement rate in the industry and its high rate of utilization of manufacture level training.
“(It was) not sellable but still usable,” Chrzanowski said. “It’s better served to be used as a trainer than it is to be scrapped. We’re trying to help bridge the gap between education (and the industry). (We are) partnering with dealerships to engage with career centers and trade schools to provide resources that schools need to be successful. We provide the same web based training that our technicians take.”
Swonger said students will learn as much as possible with the vehicle from routine maintenance like oil changes to complex electronic diagnostics.
“(I’m) super excited,” he said. “(This) partnership helps get these kids better prepared for the industry.”
Greg Maynard, the parts and service director for Byers, said he’s been in the business for 33 years, and the donation was a high point in his career.
“This is the biggest honor to me to be able to assist in getting a career center new technology to be able to train on,” Maynard said. “Technology is growing every year, but the technology on this is going to be good to at least get guys started on for the next five, six, seven years. I kind of wish I was retiring because this to me is the best thing. It’s just not easy to get vehicles donated.”
Maynard said he’s thankful to Joe’s Towing, who brought the vehicle to the career center, and said putting the car in students’ hands felt like “winning the Super Bowl.”
George Kauffman, the owner and vice president of Byers Ford, said he “felt great” about getting the vehicle to the career center.
“A complex like this, giving young people the opportunity to find a trade, it’s phenomenal. I’m very proud to be a part of it,” Kauffman said. “The more current technology we can provide these young students the better because when they come into the workforce, they’ll be ready to go. Equipping them with the proper tools is extremely important. I’m very proud of the partnership.”
Glenn Battishill can be reached at 740-413-0903.