Honda Marysville Loans Car to DACC Students

May 20, 2013

Throughout the school year, DACC students compete in local, regional, state, and national competitions to demonstrate the skills they have learned in their programs. As two Automotive Technology students prepared for the Ford/AAA Student Auto Skills competition, they found themselves without a Ford with which to practice. In a category where reading about the concept in a book can only get them so far, having a practice car was crucial.

When Bruce Daniels and Jeff Pister from Honda Marysville heard about this dilemma, they were quick to respond. Pister had previously orchestrated the donation of a vehicle lift to the Automotive Technology program in February of 2012 and did not hesitate to offer DACC Instructor, Mark McKinney, the loan of Ford they had on their lot.

According to Daniels, Dealer-Principal at Honda Marysville, “We’re actually trying to figure out how we can do more for this program. As these students learn about the automotive industry, we have the opportunity to bring more qualified employees into our operations.” Daniels went on to explain that even though DACC alumni start as a Quick Service Technician, many have quickly moved up the ranks to Master Technician. The training in technical skills, customer service, and general business they receive at DACC help them succeed professionally.

While executives at Honda Marysville were happy to loan the car, the DACC students were grateful for the chance to practice for their competition. Josh Cummins and Ben Applegate were given two weeks to practice on the Ford and they used their time wisely. The competition consisted of troubleshooting unknown issues in any or all of the car’s 26 computers. To practice, McKinney staged complicated bugs within the car’s system and put the students to work. Josh and Ben not only had to be accurate, they had to be quick, efficient, and properly utilize all of their customer service and safety gear, such as covering seats with plastic and wearing safety belts when moving the car. Without the loan from Honda Marysville, Josh and Ben would have had an understanding of how the car functioned, but would not have had the crucial hands-on experience.

McKinney summarized his relationship with Honda Marysville by saying, “With eight of my students working for the dealership, this has been a great partnership. The technology in the cars automotive technicians are working on changes so quickly, we rely on donations like this one to keep my students working on the most current computer systems. In return, the local dealerships rely on my program to train skilled technicians who will end up being a valuable asset.”