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LLCC’s Workforce Institute partners with local Ford dealerships

SPRINGFIELD — The Workforce Institute at Lincoln Land Community College has partnered with Green Family Stores and Landmark Ford for the Ford Automotive Career Exploration (ACE) program. ACE aims to raise awareness and increase interest in career opportunities within the automotive industry, particularly as a service technician.

“This partnership is a great step forward in providing the best education and a career pathway for our automotive technology students,” said Nancy Sweet, dean of the LLCC Workforce Institute.

Under the agreement, both Ford dealerships will be active members on the advisory committee for LLCC’s auto tech program, provide class presentations twice a year, participate in annual career events as well as job shadowing, and offer paid internships and part-time jobs for students, leading to full-time careers.

“We see this as a win-win where we are involved in the students’ education as they learn from the experts to provide a clear path to a lucrative career at our dealership,” said Kevin Epley, human resources director at Landmark Autogroup.

Josh Laurent, corporate director of fixed operations, Green Family Stores, said, “We want to encourage more students to enter the field of automotive technology and mentor them along the way so they stay local and fill our available jobs. We know the quality of LLCC auto tech grads and have great careers waiting for them.”

In addition, LLCC auto tech students will have access to valuable knowledge of Ford/Lincoln vehicle systems by completing web-based training with a subset of the same courses taken by Ford dealership technicians. By completing these courses, students are one step closer toward a career in the automotive industry, beginning as an entry-level automotive service technician at a Ford/Lincoln dealership.

LLCC’s automotive technology program is part of the Workforce Institute, where students get in, get trained and get a job. New nine-month daytime and 11-month evening certificate programs begin Aug. 23. Interested students can learn more about the automotive technology program online or by emailing or calling 217-786-2407.