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Ford, Penn College Donate Vehicles Worth More Than $456,000

More than two dozen secondary schools in Pennsylvania have received Ford Windstar vans or other Ford vehicles through a joint initiative involving Pennsylvania College of Technology and Ford Motor Co.

The 52 vehicles, which are valued at a total of $456,400, are from the 1994-95 model years and have some type of engine damage. They will be used for instructional purposes in the schools’ automotive programs. Ford donated the vehicles to the College, which in turn donated them to the secondary schools.

Ford, which sponsors the Automotive Technology (Ford ASSET) associate-degree major in the School of Transportation Technology at Penn College, paid for transporting the vehicles to the schools. The company also provided the appropriate service information to the schools in electronic and hard-copy form, noted Christopher H. Van Stavoren, assistant professor of automotive technology (Ford ASSET) at Penn College.

Most of the vehicles came from dealers in Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, Ohio and West Virginia, said Van Stavoren, who conceived the project. They will be of great value to the secondary-school programs, he added, because students will learn how to repair engines and transmissions on a popular, late-model vehicle. Initially, Van Stavoren sent query letters to schools participating in an automotive troubleshooting competition, and arrangements were then made to supply the schools with the training vehicles. He hopes this represents the start of an ongoing project to furnish Ford vehicles to Pennsylvania’s secondary schools.

“I would like to do this on a regular basis if the vehicles become available,” he said. “My hope and understanding is that this is the beginning of getting more Ford vehicles into the high schools.”

The vehicles were donated to Penn College by Ford Motor Co. Automotive Consumer Services Group, Mount Laurel, N.J. Jim Kelly, Ford’s technician recruiting and education specialist, represented the company in the arrangement.

Colin W. Williamson, dean of the School of Transportation Technology, accepted the vehicles on behalf of Penn College.

“We are pleased to be assisting secondary-school automotive programs by providing the resources to enhance their instruction and laboratory activities,” Williamson said. “Our goal is to increase the skill levels of their graduates, affording greater opportunities in terms of furthering the students’ education or by enabling them to work for Ford or Lincoln/Mercury dealerships.”

Pennsylvania schools receiving vehicles from Ford and Penn College are:

Berks Career & Technology Center, Leesport; Berks Career & Technology Center, Oley; Bethlehem Area Vocational Technical School; Bucks County Area Vocational Technical School; Career Institute of Technology, Easton; Butler County Area Vocational Technical School; Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science & Technology; Clearfield County Area Vocational Technical School; Columbia-Montour Area Vocational Technical School; Dauphin County Area Vocational Technical School; Greater Johnstown Career and Technology Center; Hazleton Area Career Center; Lenape Area Vocational Technical School; Martin Luther King Senior High School; Milton Hershey School; North Montco Tech School, Collegeville; Oliver High School; Park West Area Vocational Technical School; Penn Hills Senior High School; Reading-Muhlenberg Area Vocational Technical School; State College Area High School; Sun Area CTC, New Berlin; Upper Bucks Co Area Vocational Technical School; Western Center for Technical Studies, Limerick; and Williamsport Area High School.

The Automotive Technology (Ford ASSET) major at Penn College is a unique work-study program that combines classroom and laboratory activities with a paid work experience at a Ford-Lincoln-Mercury dealership. The two-year program is designed to develop qualified service technicians for the automotive industry. For more information, visit on the Web.

For more information about Penn College, call toll-free 1-800-367-9222, or visit online.

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