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Honda PACT Adds to Options for Automotive Students

Three newly donated vehicles await PACT students.Pennsylvania College of Technology automotive students soon will have the unique opportunity to attain an associate’s degree while training for employment by Honda and Acura automobile dealerships.

Penn College has been accepted into Honda’s Professional Automotive Career Training program, which allows students to obtain a two-year degree in Automotive Technology with an emphasis on those vehicles and the opportunity to gain real-world experience in prestigious Honda/Acura dealerships.

“Honda is a progressive company, a major U.S. manufacturer making significant inroads into the truck market, and one of the industry leaders in alternative-fuels and hybrid vehicles,” said Colin W. Williamson, the College’s dean of transportation technology. “With more than 30 Honda dealers within the normal draw of our automotive programs, this really fills a niche in the mid-Atlantic region.”

Penn College is the first PACT site in Pennsylvania and one of only four east of the Mississippi River; the next closest is New Hampshire Community Technology College in Nashua, N.H.

Brian Moore (center), industry education coordinator for American Honda Motor Co. Inc., is joined by Penn College President Dr. Davie Jane Gilmour and Colin W. Williamson, dean of transportation technology.“We’re excited to be able to include Pennsylvania College of Technology in the PACT program,” said Brian Moore, industry education coordinator for American Honda Motor Co. Inc. “The staff at Penn College are first-class, as are the facilities, and we have every confidence that they will produce excellent technicians for our dealerships.”

PACT which offers the combined benefits of American Honda, its dealerships and institutions such as Penn College is a comprehensive training program that prepares students for jobs as dealership service technicians.

It also readies them for written exams, vehicle safety inspections and Honda/Acura-specific certification.

“We are pleased to add the Honda PACT training program to our curriculum and look forward to our partnership with American Honda Motor Co. Inc.,” said Debra Mader Miller, director of corporate relations for the College’s Office of Institutional Advancement.

In addition to internship opportunities with sponsoring dealerships, Honda provides special tools, a fleet of vehicles on which PACT students receive education, and state-of-the-art instructor training. The first three vehicles (a Honda Accord and two Acuras) arrived earlier this year.

“Everyone benefits,” Williamson explained. “Dealers have access to an increased pool of trained technicians, the College gets a wider sampling of popular cars in its labs, and students get a ‘reality check’ on whether they’ve chosen a career to which they are suited.”

The first PACT offerings will be in the Spring 2006 semester, the dean said, with the first internship opportunities arising that following summer. Course work is taught by Automotive Service Excellence-certified instructors, under the stringent guidelines of the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation.

For more information about the PACT program at Penn College, send an e-mail , call the School of Transportation Technology at (570) 327-4516, or visit online .

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