Tidewater Community College and Ford Motor Company celebrated the launch of the Ford ASSET program at the Regional Automotive Center (RAC) during a dedication event on May 18.

The ASSET program – short for Automotive Student Service Educational Training – is the only one of its kind in Virginia. Ford expanded its program in response to a growing need for trained Ford and Lincoln technicians in Hampton Roads, Richmond and North Carolina dealerships.

“This program would not be possible without the support of regional Ford dealerships in providing cooperative education opportunities for our students, as well as vehicles and tools,” said President Edna Baehre-Kolovani. “We thank you for your trust and will do our best to continue to earn that trust.”

Chesapeake mayor Alan Krasnoff speaks at the Ford ASSET dedication
Chesapeake mayor Alan Krasnoff

Chesapeake Mayor Alan Krasnoff spoke about the value of the partnership. “TCC has vision, purpose and strategy and that’s why we’re number one,” he said. “And through this Ford program, we have created a touchable, sustainable program that will help students reach their destiny.”

Nineteen Ford dealerships are sponsoring the program, which will begin this fall.

“We desperately need qualified technicians, and this platform will launch the careers of young men and women to a place in the industry they want to go,” said Paul Saltarelli, parts and service director for Cavalier Ford Lincoln. “This school is second to none.”

Students who enroll in Ford ASSET will follow the Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology curriculum. ASSET students learn on Ford and Lincoln vehicles using Ford-specific technology. Each student will complete cooperative education courses in a sponsoring dealership.

All hands-on work will be performed at the RAC and dealerships. Students can take general academic courses at any of TCC’s four campuses or online.

Those who complete the program will be awarded an associate degree as well as Ford factory training credentials, which certifies their skills to perform warranty work at a dealership.

“This partnership comes at a pivotal time when cars and trucks are more sophisticated and sales continue to rise,” said Steve DeAngelis, national technical support operations manager with Ford Motor Co.

“There are plenty of opportunities because we know if we take care of our owners with quality vehicle service, they will come back to us when it’s time to buy a new car or truck. I look for this ASSET program to be extremely successful in the years to come.”

Ford representatives Ken Strain, Jim Todd, Dave Pickett, Steve DeAngelis, Lisa Vigneault, Fred Griemsman, Dave Dodds, Devin West, Paul Saltarelli, Bryan Atekenson, Steve Spinks, Robert Chen and Steve Klimkiewicz.
Ford representatives Ken Strain, Jim Todd, Dave Pickett, Steve DeAngelis, Lisa Vigneault, Fred Griemsman,
Dave Dodds, Devin West, Paul Saltarelli, Bryan Atekenson, Steve Spinks, Robert Chen and Steve Klimkiewicz.