Rend Lake College’s Automotive Technology program recently received a boost with two vehicles donated by Ford Motor Co. for use in the Maintenance and Light Repair curriculum, a line-up of classes using Ford vehicles, components and diagnostic tools.
Jon Neil, Service Training Instructor with Ford Motor Co., was on hand to present the donation to the Automotive Technology program.
The Maintenance and Light Repair program is designed to provide students with comprehensive training in core specialties of automotive technology. Students can complete this additional certificate while enrolled in the Automotive Technology program at Rend Lake College. Five classes are involved in the MLR program: Suspension and Steering; Auto Air Conditioning; Auto Electrical Systems A and B; and Braking Systems.
These classes are taken along with on-line training provided by Ford Motor Co., according to Automotive Technology Professor Nigel Thompson.
This pilot program has been in place at Rend Lake College for two years, and the first four completers of the MLR curriculum graduated this year. According to Automotive Associate Professor Shannon Perkins, the program is on track to graduate 12 students next year. Three of these students are working in Ford dealerships already.
“Ford has been very supportive of the program here. Students taking the program really seem to enjoy it,” said Thompson. RLC is the only community college in Southern Illinois currently offering the MLR program.
Ford developed its MLR program to prepare students with the basic skills they need for employment as a maintenance and light repair technician. Students receive hands-on experience working with Ford vehicles and using the latest diagnostic tools. The MLR program offers a fast path for students to enter the challenging world of automotive service. Students who complete the program are rewarded with Ford Motor Co. training credentials in brakes, climate control systems, basic electrical systems, and steering and suspension.
Completers of the MLR curriculum are qualified to become MLR technicians at dealerships and other service centers. Technicians may advance to Ford Master Technician recognition, supervisory or managerial positions, or may continue their educations to specialize in other areas of auto repair.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, formal automotive training is the best preparation for a career as an automotive service technician. New jobs will be created in dealerships with expected growth in repairs such as oil changes, brake repairs and air conditioner service.
Maintenance and Light Repair is a completely voluntary curriculum for students in RLC’s Automotive Technology program, and classes do not cost anything more than regular tuition. The on-line training is free of charge.
For more information, contact Thompson or Perkins at (618) 437-5321, Ext. 1806 / 1784, or call toll-free (in-district only) at 1-800-369-5321, Ext. 1806 / 1784.
For a high-resolution version of the above photo, click here.