Beep! Beep! Local Toyota Dealerships Boosting Hands-on Training and Scholarship Access for DMC Automotive Applied Technology Majors
AutoNation Toyota Corpus Christi and Mike Shaw Toyota jointly donate 2018 Corolla for students’ training; Mike Shaw Toyota gives $15,000 toward scholarships for 2022-2023 academic year
Article by Melinda Eddleman
Technology constantly keeps changing … even in the automotive industry. To keep up with the local workforce and skills needs to maintain Coastal Bend Toyotas, two local dealerships––AutoNation Toyota Corpus Christi and Mike Shaw Toyota––collaboratively donated a vehicle to Del Mar College’s Automotive Applied Technology Program so that students can get more hands-on experience with newer cars as part of their training.
On Oct. 5, representatives from the dealerships––along with Toby Gustavus, Workforce Development Manager with Gulf States Toyota, which provides Toyotas and parts to 156 dealerships in Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi and Oklahoma––presented an oversized bow-clad white 2018 Toyota Corolla valued at $19,000 to the College through the DMC Foundation. Additionally, representatives from Mike Shaw Toyota presented an oversized $15,000 check supporting six scholarships for the 2022-2023 academic year with three fall DMC recipients attending the presentation.
The vehicle donation through the partnership between AutoNation Toyota and Mike Shaw Toyota represents these local employers’ commitment to providing the Coastal Bend with a skilled workforce. Access to updated automotive technology is an essential component to workforce development; and thanks to the generosity of both dealerships, Del Mar College students will leave the program better prepared to serve the community’s automotive needs.
Mary McQueen, Executive Director of the DMC Foundation, adds, “The vehicle donation from Corpus Christi’s Toyota dealers ensures our Automotive Applied Technology students have the tools required to enter the local workforce prepared and ready to work. This gift, coupled with the creation of the Mike Shaw Scholarship for Automotive Excellence, helps close the gap between financial need and receiving a quality education in our community.”
Scholarship criteria include maintaining a minimum 2.0 grade point average and enrolling part- or full-time or six to 11 hours or 12-plus hours, respectively. Full-time recipients can receive $3,300 annually while part-time recipients receive $1,700; and if funds are available and students continue to meet criteria, the scholarship is renewable through their program completion. Current fall semester recipients are also candidates for the Mike Shaw Internship Program.
The College’s Automotive Applied Technology Program offers training for the following: Level I Certificate in Suspension, Driveline, Brake Specialist; Level II Certificate in Automotive Applied Technology and an Associate in Applied Science in Automotive Applied Technology degree. Training includes intensive career preparation through a combination of classroom instruction and hands-on practice. The program’s curriculum is updated frequently to reflect changing technology and equipment. Additionally, manufacturers provide late model cars on which students can practice skills and ensure the automotive program teaches the latest in automotive technology.
As part of the event, DMC students also received lunch and heard a panel discussion with Mike Shaw Toyota representatives to learn about industry changes, opportunities with the dealership and other topics related to the local automotive industry as they prepare for careers in the field.
Of the donation, McQueen adds, “As we strive to recover from the challenges and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Del Mar College serves as an essential resource addressing the needs of local employers, including the development of skilled automotive technicians. Eighty-five percent of our students come from and remain in our community, making our automotive graduates an asset to local dealerships and related automotive industries. We appreciate our local automotive partner’s commitment to enriching the Coastal Bend through educational opportunities at Del Mar College.”
Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.