On Monday, August 14, 2017 Gwinnnett Technical College began their newest program the Mercedes-Benz College Automotive Program. This two-year program offers students a hands-on approach to learning. Just like Mercedes-Benz dealership workshops, the automotive labs are sleek and sophisticated, with the most technologically advanced tools and systems. Classrooms are equipped with the same parts, tools and vehicles they would see at most Mercedes-Benz dealerships, along with firsthand interaction with Mercedes-Benz technical information systems and program-specific equipment.
Mercedes-Benz USA donated six vehicles, web-based training curriculum and an array of training equipment, including workshop carts, XENTRY Diagnosis equipment and more. The new classroom and lab are professional-level and will allow Gwinnett Tech students to work, first-hand, with some of the most sophisticated, cutting-edge technology in the automotive industry.
Dr. D.Glen Cannon, president, Gwinnett Tech said, “Mercedes-Benz USA is a company with futuristic vision and a global action plan to back it. They are a world-class organization that demands the highest of standards and performance. They value quality, excellence, and innovation. It’s only fitting that they would partner with Gwinnett Technical College to help them achieve their goals.”
Gwinnett Tech students are successful because they are given the opportunity to not just learn in theory, but be seasoned in practice. To further enhance Gwinnett Tech’s automotive learning environment, Mercedes-Benz USA has renovated and equipped a customized Mercedes-Benz training classroom and technology laboratory on Gwinnett Tech’s Lawrenceville campus.
Additionally, Gwinnett Tech’s academic team has worked closely with Mercedes to develop a specific training certificate unique to Mercedes-Benz USA. Dr. Cannon shared, “This is the first partnership of its kind in the country that will give students both factory-level training credits as well as, college credits that will apply to a degree program.”
In addition to students, Mercedes-Benz focuses on faculty, as well. Gwinnett Tech instructors were trained on Mercedes products and have access to tools and resources to enhance student learning. The program allows Gwinnett Tech to use and fully integrate Mercedes-Benz’ technical training library to ensure they always have working knowledge of the latest automotive systems.
The partnership between Mercedes-Benz and Gwinnett Technical College will serve as a model that will be replicated in automotive markets around the country. Christian Treiber, vice president of customer service for Mercedes-Benz USA said, “We want to provide a natural navigation point for the next generation of automotive technicians and pave the path into the Mercedes-Benz family.”
Treiber stressed that the automotive technicians of today need far more specialized training than ever. “Long gone are the days of the oil-stained mechanic wrenching away in a greasy gas station workshop. Technicians need special training and access to the diagnostic tools to keep today’s cars operating safely and efficiently.”
Mercedes-Benz USA plans to create new jobs as they open their new $100 million headquarters facility in Atlanta, Georgia in 2018. Many of those jobs will require very specialized training. Through Mercedes’ strategic planning efforts with the State of Georgia and Quick Start, Gwinnett Technical College was selected by Mercedes-Benz to formulate an educational partnership that will help them elevate their corporate training model to meet the growing needs of their dealerships and customers.
Gwinnett Tech’s Automotive Technology program is one of the leading programs in the nation. It is fully accredited by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation in Automotive Service Excellence. It is considered one of the best programs in the country and Gwinnett Tech’s automotive technology graduates are highly sought in the marketplace. The College’s 99.1% job placement rate speaks volumes about the quality and excellence of the program.
For more information about Gwinnett Technical College’s Automotive Technology programs, visit GwinnettTech.edu.
In this photo: Dean of Automotive, Gail Edwards, Gwinnett Tech, Vice President of Academic Affairs, Rebecca Alexander, Gwinnett Tech and Rob Tomlin, Supervisor of Technician Recruitment, Development and Retention, Mercedes-Benz USA, with inaugural cohort for the Mercedes-Benz College Automotive Program.