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October 20, 2011
Piedmont Technical College recently played host to the South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association (SCADA) automotive field studies tour for educators. The purpose of the tour was to expose students, career specialists, counselors, career center instructors and teachers to the inner workings of the automobile industry.
“There is excellent salary potential in the automotive industry,” said Dena Feagin, Automotive Youth Educational Systems state manager for SCADA. “There are jobs out there and if you have the head and hand skills, someone is looking for you.”
The tour began at PTC with a welcome from Dr. Ray Brooks, president. This was followed by presentations from Keith Lasure, dean of engineering and industrial technology and Brad Emery, program coordinator for automotive technology, and a tour of the automotive facilities.
“Seven years ago, we had 30 students in the automotive program,” Lasure said. “Today, we have 105 students. We have worked hard to bring this program to one of national caliber.”
The tour moved on to two local dealerships. Participants were shown not only the sales aspect of the industry, but the maintenance side as well.
“Thank you for preparing these technicians to come into the industry,” said Bal Ballentine, owner of Ballentine Toyota.
“Why do we do this? Because we need help,” said Pat Watson, executive vice president, SCADA. “We want you to leave here understanding that there are good, well-paying jobs in the auto industry.”
“The automotive industry is alive, it is coming back,” said Lasure.
Photo Caption: Brad Emery, automotive technology program coordinator at Piedmont Technical College, center, conducts a tour of the automotive lab facility for approximately 40 students, career specialists, counselors, career center instructors and teachers from the seven-county area. The tour was part of the South Carolina Automobile Dealers Association automotive field studies tour for educators, co-hosted by PTC, a program established to expose students and educators to the inner workings of the automobile industry.