DECATUR, Ala. — Students at Calhoun Community College can finally enjoy a new Automotive Technology facility.
On Thursday, local and state leaders came out to cut the ribbon that opened the brand new building on the Decatur campus.
Crews broke ground on the facility in 2017. Now, students are better equipped to learn about automotive technology.
Lead Instructor of Automotive Technology at Calhoun Community College, Lewis Nall, said, "One of the problems we've had with technical education is sometimes students are waiting. They're waiting for a tool. They're waiting for a scan tool. They're waiting on a car. Here, we have enough tools, trainers, and cars that all the students are working."
Students are getting hands on experience to ensure they have the skills to get a job as soon as they graduate.
"They are learning how to work on every part of the car from bumper to bumper," said Nall. "That means if it's an EV, they're going to be able to understand what's going on with that car an how to work on it safely. If it's a traditional gas engine, they're going to understand how to diagnose that car."
With the new Mazda Toyota plant being built in Huntsville, thousands of auto technician jobs are soon coming to the Tennessee Valley.
Congressman Mo Brooks said, "They are eventually going to employ roughly 4,000 people, and because of the magnification from those 4,000, we're looking at an additional total of about 24,000 jobs in our community."
Cathy Anderson with Woody Anderson Ford said, "Industry gap in technological services for automobiles is frightening."
This facility will help meet the growing need for skilled technicians.
"Some of our older techs are not ready to work on some of the newer vehicles," said Nall. "These kids are going to be able to fill that void or fill that gap."
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The facility alone also created over 200 jobs.
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