Students looking for an automotive job can now apply for a program with Honda due to Clark’s partnership established last September.
The Honda Professional Automotive Career Training program is designed to train students to become “dealer ready” within two years and pairs classroom work with “real world experience,” according to the Honda PACT website.
Students in the program must go through a paid internship process in order to graduate, according to automotive instructor Brian Tracey.
“There’s a quarter in, quarter out system,” Tracey said. “They’ll be in school for a quarter, and then they’re at work for a quarter.”
Students can expect to learn how to “maintain, diagnose and repair” vehicles donated by Honda and their computer systems.
“There’s a lot of hands-on work,” Tracey said. “We have all-modern vehicles and all-modern technology, so students are seeing the same things they will see in the field.”
“This program is almost going to guarantee students a job,” said Clark College President Bob Knight. “If this student really wants to work for Honda, and they do a good job, they’re going to get hired.”
Tracey points to an accelerated career path as the number one reason to join the program.
“You are leaps and bounds ahead of people who have an entry-level job,” Tracey said.
According to Tracey, industry growth is another reason to join the program.
“In the next five years, there is probably going to be 10 or 15 percent growth in all the dealerships,” Tracey said. “There are 14 Honda dealerships in the Northwest and they are all pretty busy.”
Instructors are currently developing the curriculum for the program. “We’ll develop the curriculum this quarter and next quarter,” Tracey said. “We’ll be ready by Fall for sure.”
Students must have a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record, the ability to drive manual transmission vehicles and be able to pass a drug test. Applications for the program can be found on the Clark website.
The PACT program will be merged together with the existing Dick Hannah program, according to Knight.
“Dick Hannah had a need, and they agreed that we can mesh these two programs together,” Knight said. “We’re going to be able to help a lot of automotive dealers, and we’re going to be big in the automotive training industry in the Northwest.”
The Toyota program will continue to exist.