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Ford donation adds torque to Morrisville State auto program

MORRISVILLE, NY—A new acquisition is adding torque to Morrisville State’s automotive technology—Ford ASSET program.

A 2013 Ford Escape, donated by Ford Motor Company, recently joined the program’s fleet of Ford-donated vehicles which are delivering top-notch training to auto students.

Equipped with an EcoBoost engine and all-wheel drive, the new, ruby red ride is part of a hands-on approach that is introducing Morrisville State automotive students to the latest technologies and putting them in the driver’s seat in the industry.

“Our program revolves heavily on Ford donations,” said Dan Akers, director of the college’s Ford ASSET program. “It is our first EcoBoost engine so we are very excited about this.”

EcoBoost is a family of turbocharged, direct-injected engines designed to deliver the power and torque drivers want while achieving approximately 20% better fuel efficiency and 15% reduced greenhouse emissions than similarly sized traditional engines.

Ford Motor Company’s donations provide students with experience working on the most updated vehicles keeping pace with the tech-savvy industry that’s now servicing vehicles equipped with complex electronics and sophisticated devices.

Students go from bumper-to-bumper, learning about all systems of the vehicles from removing and replacing suspensions, batteries, clutches and brakes to working on electrical systems, engine performance and transmissions.

The college’s partnership with Ford has kept the program’s wheels rolling, their donations offering peerless educational opportunities for students. The new top-of-the-line contribution raises the program’s fleet of teaching vehicles to 20.

Opportunities also proliferate beyond classes and labs. Students also gain on-the-job training at sponsoring Ford or Lincoln Mercury dealerships, many of them landing jobs with companies before they even get their diplomas, according to Akers. Others choose to transfer into the college’s bachelor degree programs in automotive technology and automotive management.

In addition to gaining an associate degree, Ford ASSET students have a chance to earn up to 15 Ford certifications.

Shane Collins, of Chittenango, is among students excited to work on the new Ford Escape. Working on EcoBoost engines is not new to the Ford ASSET student, who learned all about them through an internship at Nye Automotive, in Oneida.

“With Morrisville’s auto program, you are basically already in your career,” Collins said of the hands-on experience. “This opens the door for us and aligns us with everything that is already going on in the industry.”

The Ford ASSET program took another step toward preparing its automotive students to keep up with the driving demands of the auto industry with its recertification by the National Automotive Technicians Education Foundation (NATEF).

“Achieving NATEF certification is a testament to the continuing level of excellence that has been established in the college’s auto programs, which are designed to reflect the most recent advances in the industry and to provide students with the best technical training,” Akers said.

Job readiness provided in modern facilities with the newest, latest equipment is another feather in the auto program’s cap.

Automotive facilities include an award-winning Automotive Technology Building with nine state-of-the art laboratories and a showroom, and an Autobody Building with a modern-day lab, superior air purification equipment, a laser measuring device capable of determining frame damage, and a Garmat Paint Station.

As the only campus with its own parts department and live service desk, both run by students, students are also gaining communication skills performing live work on faculty, staff and student vehicles.

Morrisville State sets the world in motion for students. Curricula are enriched with applied learning and pave the way for opportunity at both the Morrisville and Norwich campuses. An action-oriented, interactive learning lab, the college is a national leader in technology. Lauded for its exemplary, innovative and effective community service programs, the college was named to the 2012 President’s Higher Community Education Service Honor Roll. The college was recognized, by U.S. News and World Report, in its top tier Best Regional Colleges list and ranked second among regional colleges nationwide for outperforming its anticipated graduation rate. Visit to experience, Morrisville in motion.