BANGOR — Darling’s Auto Group presented Eastern Maine Communty College with a 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee at the schools annual business meeting Jan. 16. The vehicle, valued at $32,595 MSRP, will be used for the College’s Automotive Technology Program,
The Automotive Technology program is focused on preparing future vehicle technicians to troubleshoot, repair and service modern vehicles. In addition, EMCC is the state’s only location for the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP). This program, which launched in spring 2018, enables qualified students to graduate from the 2-year program with their Associate Degree in Automotive Technology, as well as earning a Level 1 Technician Certification from Chrysler.
“The CAP program gives newer technicians a head start, since they can walk into any Chrysler dealership and already have their Level 1 certification,” said Ed Huntley, service manager of Darling’s Auto Mall in Ellsworth. “Not only that, but some of the newer diagnostic tools these students are training with don’t work on older vehicles.”
Prior to this donation, a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee was the most recent model year product that students had to learn on. Significant advances in automotive technology over the past 13 years have led to increasingly complex modern electrical and braking systems, as well as new features focusing on connectivity, entertainment and navigation.
“We’ve been proud supporters of EMCC’s Automotive Program for a long time, and this was a natural fit for us,” said Carrie Meo, vice president of Fixed Operations. “The automotive industry is incredibly competitive, and we’re already seeing a shortage of qualified technicians. Investing in new trainees and their education will help strengthen our industry overall for the future.”
Without factory-training, technicians at dealerships cannot work on warranty or recall work, leading to delays in repairs for many customers. To earn the highest level of certification from Chrysler takes a number of years and an investment in time and learning. Other manufacturers have similar standards.