Kirkwood Community College shows off new auto tech building

Published: Aug. 29, 2019 at 3:16 AM CDT
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Leaders at Kirkwood Community College say there's a shortage of skilled workers in the auto industry. They're hoping their new auto tech building will be a driving force for recruitment.

They say there's nothing like the building at any other community college in Iowa. It's a 38,000 square feet facility that crews just finished two weeks ago.

It allows students to get a hands-on approach. They started classes there on Monday. Sophomores are working on how to do brake work. Freshmen are in a classroom learning automobile basics. They have 32 cars to work on.

Eventually, students will learn how to do oil changes, tear down a transmission, everything to get them ready for a career in the auto industry.

“This is going to be a wonderful recruiting tool,” said Dan Martin, Dean of Industrial Technologies. ”I think that whenever a student walks in here and talk to us about what it takes to be an automotive technician, they're gonna look here and they're gonna say Kirkwood has what it needs to have to be able to put me in the best place for my career."

The building cost more than $6.5 million dollars and is being for by a bond taxpayers approved in 2017.

Martin says auto tech jobs can start off paying at $20 an hour.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony is set for Sept. 12.

The auto tech classes are full for the year.

to learn more about Kirkwood’s auto tech program.

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