Executives from RCC and Ford, local elected officials and high-school students interested in joining RCC/Ford Motor Company’s unique automotive career exploration program attended the January 24 event

Suffern, NY. (February 7, 2023) – A new automotive-industry training program from RCC and Ford Motor Company, which promotes career opportunities for underserved high-school students, kicked off with an informational session at A. Philip Randolph Campus High School in Manhattan on January 24.

The game-changing initiative, known as the Automotive Career Exploration (ACE) program, is a new partnership between RCC, Ford Motor Company, and New York City-based nonprofit, Sound Business, Inc. (SBI). ACE is designed to provide automotive industry exploration and career path access for high schoolers. Enrolled students will study topics including new model training, electric systems engineering, and steering suspension, as well as the history of Ford Motor Company.

“This program is very important to Ford given the current demand across the country for qualified automotive technicians,” added Ford’s Earle Mitchell. “We are at a point where things are changing in the automotive industry. These students are at the centerfold of that change, and in this program, students will get to learn it all in real time.”

Over 40 people attended the event, including students interested in the program and Dr. Katie Lynch, RCC’s Officer in Charge of Academic Affairs; Yusuf Rimawi, Professor of Automotive Technology at RCC; Jose Ortiz Jr., Senior Advisor, Office of the NYC Deputy Mayor for Economic and Workforce Development; Kelly Downing, Ph.D., CEO & Executive Director of SBI; Earle Mitchell, Regional Technician Placement Specialist, Ford Motor Company; and Carlos Reyes, Service Performance Manager, Ford Motor Company.

“Just because you’re young doesn’t mean you aren’t valuable,” said Yusuf Rimawi, Professor of Automotive Technology at RCC. “Students graduate from the Ford ASSET program every year making between $50,000 and $70,000 a year. We will work with each student, as well as with our sponsors at Ford, to make sure every student finds a job in an excellent dealership.”

The ACE program marks RCC and Ford’s first partnership with a Manhattan-based high school, and will serve as a feeder to another Ford/RCC program, Automotive Student Service Educational Training (ASSET), which enables students to earn an associate degree as well as automotive-technology certifications while enrolled at RCC.

The ACE and ASSET programs are key opportunities for students to “get a good education and take their next step, in turn transforming themselves and the community,” said Dr. Katie Lynch, RCC’s Officer in Charge of Academic Affairs. “As we think about partnerships like this one, we focus on reaching our high schools and how we can help high-school students reach forward.”

RCC’s Automotive Technology program offers life-long learning opportunities to continually increase skills in the automotive industry and utilize the latest tools and equipment. The College offers an Associate of Applied Science (AAS) in Automotive Technology, with several manufacturing-specific programs, and an Automotive Technician Fundamentals microcredential, which is endorsed by Ford Motor Company. The next opportunity to begin Automotive Technology classes is summer 2023. Visit RCC’s website for more information: sunyrockland.edu/programs/automotive-technology/.

For more information about the ACE program, contact Earle Mitchell (Ford Motor Company) at 770-776-9653 or [email protected].

About Rockland Community College
Rockland Community College (RCC), located in Suffern New York, provides purpose driven educational opportunities in a supportive, affordable, and accessible environment, empowering individuals to positively transform themselves and their communities. RCC welcomes students from diverse backgrounds who appreciate small class sizes and personal attention from a distinguished, award-winning faculty that includes Fulbright scholars and SUNY Distinguished Professors. Many graduates go on to top universities to further their education on their own or through RCCs institutional collaborations.

RCC fosters an environment that attracts, recruits, supports and retains faculty, staff, and students who value diversity. The College promotes a collegial and inclusive environment by recognizing, promoting, embracing, respecting and celebrating the expansive range and dimensions of cultures, attitudes, ideas and viewpoints contained within our campus community.

RCC is also proud to provide career training and professional development to adult learners looking to change careers or upgrade their skills through a variety of programs and educational opportunities including workforce training, certifications, and microcredentials. Many of the programs are developed with employers in the community in high demand industry areas to enable graduates to move into a new career upon graduation. More information can be found at sunyrockland.edu.

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