State Farm donates late model vehicle to GNTC training program

State Farm donates late model vehicle to GNTC training program

July 26th, 2012 Timara Frassrand in Local Regional News

Students at the Walker County Campus of Georgia Northwestern Technical College's Automotive Technology Program received their first late-model vehicle to mechanically train on thanks to local State Farm agents Ronnie Holden and Mike Herndon.

Officials and school staff participate in a key exchange ceremony at Georgia Northwestern Technical College. From left are agency field consultant Pam Thompson, agency field executive Philip Cagle, State Farm legislative and media relations representative Justin Tomczak, State Farm Rock Spring agent Mike Herndon, GNTC director of the automotive technology program Troy Peco, State Farm Flintstone agent Ronnie Holden, state Rep. Jay Neal, Walker County Chamber of Commerce president Stephanie Snodgrass and State Farm salvage team manager Andy Skates.

Photo by Timara Frassrand

The hail-damaged and totaled 2007 Chevrolet Impala would have been sold for salvage parts, but Holden of the State Farm in Flintstone said they found a need at the college that would be an investment in the community.

"The more equipped the students are, the better work they can do, then the better work our customers receive," Holden said.

Though the exterior of the vehicle is damaged, the interior mechanics are in good repair and will be of great use in training future automotive technicians, he said.

Chris Black, a 19-year-old Ringgold resident, is in his second year at the GNTC Automotive Technology Program and is looking forward to the new addition.

"Having the late-model vehicle will really show us hands on the changes in technology and will enhance our knowledge to be able to fix different cars," Black said.

Automotive technology repair is mechanically moving into electric systems, leaving those without the new age skills needed to repair today's vehicles in the dark.

Troy Peco, program director of the Automotive Technology Program, explained that automotive repair is one of the most highly sought-after positions due to the new technology and that there are a lot of people needed to fill those jobs. He believes the donated car will help prepare students to be equipped to work in the field.

Peco said the last vehicle donated to the program was a 1997 Lincoln Town Car.