Local car dealer donates vehicle to Gilroy HS

The Ford Store/Morgan Hill donated a 2016 Ford Focus to Gilroy High School to be used for learning in on-campus automotive classes.

“We are proud to be part of this program and partner with Gilroy High School to help provide these students with hands-on training in our field,” said Tim Paulus, president of the Ford Store Morgan Hill, in a March 7 announcement. “We hope the skills they learn in programs like this help them to thrive in their careers in an industry that needs young, eager technicians.”

Representatives from the Ford Store Morgan Hill met last year with Justin Zimmerman, Gilroy High School’s automotive teacher, to discuss how a newer vehicle could help the students learn and practice their skills by working on a car with advanced technology.  

“The students are excited to have access to the latest vehicle technology to help improve their skills,” Zimmerman said. “This partnership between the Ford Store Morgan Hill and Gilroy High School’s auto shop ensures that our students will be that much closer to being career-ready after graduation.”

This new initiative is part of the Ford ACE (Automotive Career Exploration) program. There are no fees to enter the program, and students can obtain knowledge of Ford Motor Company operating systems by completing web-based training via Ford’s Learning Management System. The courses are a subset of the same curriculum for technicians across the country and provide the latest training used in the industry.

“Programs like Ford ACE are stepping up efforts to ensure there are enough trained auto technicians to meet growing demand,” according to the press release. “Students trained in the latest vehicle technologies will enter a job market that is eager to put them to work.”

Car dealerships across the country are having trouble recruiting and keeping younger technicians, while at the same time more and more baby boomer technicians are retiring, according to the Automotive News.

Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training is a two-year automotive program design to upgrade the technical competency and professionalism of the incoming dealership technician. The curriculum is designed by Ford and leads to an associate’s degree combined with on-the-job work experience.