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Blue Ridge Community College Educational Foundation

Mission: Blue Ridge Community College’s (BRCC) mission is to meet the educational needs of the community, empowering students through comprehensive programs and services, within an environment of academic excellence.  The BRCC Educational Foundation’s mission is to build community relationships and secure resources to strengthen the programs and services of BRCC.  Finally, the Automotive Analysis and Repair Program’s mission is to produce well-equipped entry-level technicians for the local automotive service industry, as well as to provide a path to a solid living-wage career for those seeking this work.

Community Need: Many employers contact BRCC during the spring semesters to inquire about soon-to-be graduates and their abilities. BRCC has trained students from the Northern Virginia to Tidewater areas, as well as throughout the Shenandoah Valley. Although the local region is less densely populated, it has considerable needs in the automotive dealer area, as well as the independent market. The occupational outlook handbook lists median income for automotive technicians nationally at almost $38,500 and a growth rate of 6% from 2016 to 2026.

Primary Activities: BRCC offers credit courses and programs through the associate degree level, as well as non-credit workforce development and continuing education opportunities.  The BRCC Educational Foundation engages in robust fundraising effort as well as careful stewardship of resources entrusted to it.  The Diploma in Automotive Analysis and Repair is designed for people who seek employment in the area of automotive service technology. It is a Master Certified program in all eight automotive areas by ASE.  Students perform testing and repair work on late-model vehicles using state-of-the-art equipment in the automotive lab. The program has a strong emphasis in electronics and computerized engine control systems.

Constituents Served: BRCC’s service region includes the counties of Augusta, Highland, and Rockingham, as well as the cities of Harrisonburg, Staunton, and Waynesboro. Students in credit programs at BRCC must have a high school diploma/equivalent, or be 18 years of age or older, and be able to benefit from a program of study at BRCC. In addition, they offer a number of credit programs that impact young populations, including dual enrollment and concurrent enrollment. Finally, BRCC also offers non-credit programs to a wide variety of lifelong learners, from school-age to senior citizens.  Spring 2018 credit enrollment: 3,796.  Enrollment in the Automotive Analysis and Repair Program is 16, allowing for a small student-to-teacher ratio, as well as significant hands-on instruction.

Program Details: Each year the Automotive Analysis and Repair Program personnel discuss industry diagnostic and repair trends and compare near-term future needs and existing equipment life/usefulness with existing resources. Many resources employed by the program are too expensive to purchase all at once so the department and administration partner to identify needs, priorities and funding methods, as it is a constant challenge to keep up with a very dynamic and ever evolving industry. The identified items in this grant proposal reflect needs that are either ongoing, or replacement of existing equipment near the end of its useful life, or required for continued program accreditation by NATEF.

Amount Requested: $9,500

Operating Budget: $745,330

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