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story.lead_photo.caption John Tostanoski, a technician training & recruiting specialist at Ford Motor Company, speaks at the press conference.

TEXARKANA, Texas — Texarkana College announced a new partnership with Ford Motor Company and Toyota Motor Corporation and showcased six donated vehicles during a press conference on Tuesday morning.

TC was recently tapped by Ford and Toyota to offer industry-certified training for students enrolled in its automotive technology, auto body and diesel technology programs. The vehicles were donated by local dealerships (four by McLarty Ford, two by Robbins Toyota), and are equipped with the latest technology for instructors to use as training components alongside an industry-specific training curriculum.

"This will allow our students to have an advantage when they go out to that industry to get jobs," Vice President of Instruction Dr. Donna McDaniel said. "Our regional automotive dealerships need a pipeline, and we want to provide that with industry-trained students to employ in your growing demand. And accessing cutting-edge, factory-backed curriculum and hands-on training with newer models that are being donated provides our students with that competitive advantage when seeking employment."

The four vehicles Ford Motor Company donated to Texarkana College.

John Tostanoski, a technician training and recruiting specialist at Ford Motor Company, said the demand for industry-trained students is currently at an all-time high, as he mentioned a large group of TC students present in the back of the room.

"We have an unprecedented demand for automotive technicians and everyone on that back wall can go out and find a job today," Tostanoski said. "That demand has never been greater and it's only going to continue to grow.

"Across the network, we're going to need nearly 100,000 technicians every year for the next 10 years. That's across all American auto dealerships. That's just to meet exceeding demand and does not include all of the people that will be retiring. So, there are probably millions of jobs out there for these people to go get."

Kyle Reynolds, a recent TC grad who now works at Gregg Orr Extreme in Ashdown, Arkansas, said he thinks this is a huge opportunity for current students at the college looking to utilize this field for their careers.

"I definitely see that it's providing a lot of opportunities," Reynolds said. "I know people personally that have been hired by these companies right out of these programs, even before they finished college. But it's a good opportunity, even if you don't get hired by one of these companies, that you have that experience in the field to help further yourself."

TC will begin awarding scholarships to students, including those interested in these programs, in the spring semester.

"Although we are celebrating a big achievement today, we are carrying a heavy responsibility for the community to be a good steward of the resources that both Robbins Toyota and Ford corporate are allowing us to take advantage of," Dean of Workforce Education Brandon Washington said. "We thank our industry partners and promise to deliver and take advantage of this opportunity. We promise to address the workforce demand in this region and mechanics will not be a dying art in this region."

(To learn more, visit https://www.texarkanacollege.edu/)

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