Darling’s Auto Group presented Eastern Maine Community College with a specially-wrapped 2017 Jeep Grand Cherokee for use in their Automotive Technology program last night. This vehicle, valued at $32,595 MSRP, was presented during the school’s Annual Business Meeting on Wednesday, January 16th.
EMCC’s Automotive Technology program is focused on preparing future vehicle technicians to service, repair, and troubleshoot modern vehicles. In addition, they are the state’s only location for the Mopar Career Automotive Program (CAP). Launched in spring 2018, this program enables qualified students to graduate from the 2-year program with both their Associate’s Degree in Automotive Technology and 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 at EMCC had to learn on. Significant advances in automotive technology over the past 13 years have led to increasingly complex modern braking and electrical systems, as well as new features focusing on navigation, connectivity, and entertainment.
“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, VP 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 recall or warranty work, which can lead 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.