ANC expanding to help those in automotive field

BLYTHEVILLE, AR (KAIT) - The automotive program at Arkansas Northeastern College is expanding to better prepare both students and technicians already working in the field of automotive service.

Students and professionals will have the opportunity to receive training in hybrid and electric car technology.

ANC student Marcques Walker will graduate next semester. During his last two semesters Walker is taking advantage of the hybrid car classes that are being offered. "I've learned everything about tires, everything about transmissions. I know how to build and rebuild transmissions."

ANC dean of occupational programs Gene Bennett said ANC is part of a five college consortium that received a $4.3 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor. The consortium consists of Arkansas State University-Newport, East Arkansas Community College, Mid South Community College and Phillips Community College of the University of Arkansas.

Administrator at ANC used the $700,000 received from the grant to purchase three hybrids, tools, equipment and textbooks for the technology classes at the Burdette campus.

The training is free of charge for people who work in the automotive field. "My purpose is to go around to any dealerships, any independent shops, let them know about the program, let them know that it is free of charge," said ANC counselor Sally Griffin.

Gary Braswell said knowing how to work with hybrids can increase income for mechanics. "They have a chance of taking their shop to the top of the list on repair facilities."

Walker is hoping his added education will add to his value in the job market.

"Now a days, hybrid cars are becoming a big thing. You have to know how to work on regular gasoline cars and hybrid cars. So that would be beneficial to me to have a knowledge of working on those cars."

For enrollment information about the hybrid technology classes, contact Gene Bennett or Sally Griffin at the Arkansas Northeastern College Burdette Center at 870-763-1486, or visit the web site here.

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