Buffalo, NY – The Western New York Ford Dealers today launched Ford Future Techs, a philanthropic program that invests in educating Buffalo and surrounding area high school students for careers in the automotive technical-repair industry.
A panel of experts discussed the program at a seminar today at the University at Buffalo Education Opportunity Center, 555 Ellicott St. Panelists included Peter DeLacy of the WNY Ford Dealers and vice president/general manager of DeLacy Ford in Elma; Jay Galligan, director of service operations for West-Herr Automotive Group; Katherine Heinle, director of career & technical education, Buffalo Public Schools; John Slenker, state Department of Labor; and Paul Stasiak, president of the Niagara Frontier Auto Dealers Association.
Local high schools with automotive technical programs can download an application online to apply. A selection committee from the 21 WNY Ford Dealers will review the applications and select an eligible educational institution to receive a Ford vehicle along with related technical and computer support items.
“The purpose of the Ford Future Techs program is to better prepare students for the field of automotive diagnosis, repair, and maintenance,” said DeLacy, who represented the Ford Future Techs selection committee. “In conversations among the dealers, we kept coming back to the fact that there is a gap between qualified job candidates and the number of positions we’re looking to fill.
“The automotive industry, as a whole, is in need of credited, knowledgeable technicians. This is a viable alternative for a career path that provides a sustainable future, and this program aims to encourage interest in this path by providing students the resources they need in their classrooms from a young age,” DeLacy said.
The Ford Future Techs program will donate vehicles within two to three years of production to recipient schools and automotive technical education classes. Through the program, the WNY Ford Dealers will continue to update and maintain technology needed to work on and learn from automotive repair. The dealers will also serve as an educational resource for students as they continue their career paths in the automotive industry.
Heinle praised the Ford Dealers’ educational investment initiative. “Ford Future Techs will grant local students in automotive programs greater access to the information and training to repair vehicles right out of school and start their career,” she said. “This type of program reflects a dedication to the Buffalo community and showcases the type of efforts that are needed to work through the challenges facing our city’s youth.”
Local schools with automotive technical programs can apply online now by July 24, 2015. To learn more, visit: http://www.wnyford.com/communityevents/.
About the WNY Ford Dealers:
The Western New York Ford Dealers are part of the Western New York Ford Stores, an advertising cooperative comprised of 39 dealer locations that provides support for Ford vehicle sales and service in the 13 counties of Western New York and Rochester, and three counties in Northern Pennsylvania. For more information, please visit: www.wnyford.com.