The Automotive Trades Department of Alfred State College, in conjunction with Tenneco, sponsored a "Drive and Ride" event in September at the Wellsville Campus. Following a successful day of interactive automotive technology demonstrations and drive experiences, a banquet was held to honor the folks in the after-market automotive industry who have been supporters of the college. Plaques were given to Tenneco, Standard Motor Products, Inc., and UniSelect USA in recognition of the dedication to Progress through Partnership shown by each of these companies in developing and supporting the unique partnership for automotive education.
Standard Motor Products, Inc., a leading independent manufacturer and distributor of replacement parts for motor vehicles, was honored by the College in gratitude for its donation of a comprehensive collection of technical training manuals, engineering specs, and wiring diagrams from 1960 through 2008, reportedly worth $1 million. The company conducted a national search for the right educational institution to receive this treasure trove, and decided on Alfred State College, because of its impact on the future of the industry and because of its partnership with UniSelect.
Also honored by Alfred State College was Tenneco, one of the world's leading suppliers of automotive emission control and ride control products, for its continued sponsorship of Drive and Ride events. These events, scheduled to take place every other year, allow each class in the automotive trades programs and their instructors to experience a session of interactive automotive technology demonstrations and drive experiences, including a fleet of identical vehicles running on a custom-designed temporary road course. The Drive and Ride activity offers participants the chance to drive two cars, comparable in every way but one: one car has its original shocks and one car is equipped with Monroe premium shocks. Drivers evaluate their performance on a road course constructed on campus to test driving skills.
Finally, UniSelect was honored by the college for its stalwart support of the campus, including its many generous donations to the automotive parts technology program, both in scholarships for students and for start-up funding for the program. UniSelect also spotlights the college and its automotive trades programs during its national conferences and links to ASC on its Web site.
Craig R. Clark, executive director of the Wellsville Campus, and dean, School of Applied Technology at Alfred State College, said, "UniSelect has truly become a national partner with the Automotive Trades Department under the leadership of two Uniselect employees who are both ASC alumni. Al Mosher, ASC class of 1973, Alfred State partnership manager, division stores manager, UniSelect; and Carmen Capriotto, ASC class of 1972, executive vice president, Corporate Stores, UniSelect, have worked diligently with the many leaders of UniSelect including Jim Buzzard, executive vice president, UniSelect Automotive Group USA, and his leadership team, to develop this partnership. Many of the national and area managers of UniSelect have visited the Wellsville campus which resulted in a $150,000 donation to the college to start the automotive parts technology program both in traditional and online formats. UniSelect invited ASC to participate in its national conference in Las Vegas in 2007 to announce the new automotive parts technology program, and to participate in all of UniSelect's northeast training conferences. This exposure has resulted in additional donations of training, software, equipment, and manuals to the college. The best example is the recent Standard Motor Products Inc. donation of manuals that many major universities in the United States wanted to obtain. UniSelect has encouraged its vendors to donate equipment, software, and manuals to the college.
The long-term vision of UniSelect is to gain additional industry support for all of the automotive trades programs and to build a new state-of-the-art 5,400 sq. ft. training facility and parts store on the Wellsville campus in the near future. This ‘Progress through Partnership,' announced in fall 2006, is beginning to make a real difference to the college."
Pictured here, Alfred State College President Dr. John M. Anderson presented the award. Accepting on behalf of UniSelect was Mosher who has been on the Automotive Trades advisory board for nearly three decades and has always had a vision of generating national support for the automotive programs on the Wellsville campus. That vision started to take shape when he was area manager for Fred Roberts Auto Parts and he started the Wellsville campus Fred Roberts Auto Parts store which has had great impact on the 250 students on campus repairing live vehicles as part of their course work. This on-campus store was the start of a relationship with MAWDI which is now part of UniSelect. Mosher has been a driving force behind the current partnership between UniSelect and Alfred State College.
The automotive parts technology program is a two-year AAS (associate in applied science) program complementing the existing automotive trades curriculums which include degree programs in automotive service technician, autobody repair, heavy equipment: truck and diesel technician, and motorsports technology. Its objective is to supply automotive parts stores with entry-level employees. There is currently no college-level automotive parts technology curriculum in the state that fills that need, according to college officials. The new online offerings will provide the ability for Alfred State College to offer the program nationwide.
Fred Roberts Auto Plus, a division of UniSelect, currently runs an active auto parts store on the Applied Technology Campus in Wellsville, where students are regularly exposed to its operation.