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TCC adds Ford manufacturer training to automotive program

Tidewater Community College automotive students have another option for manufacturer-specific training: Ford Motor Company’s ASSET program.

The program, which is being sponsored by 19 local Ford dealerships, will begin in the fall at the college’s Regional Automotive Center (RAC) in Chesapeake.

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.

Currently, the closest programs are in Jamestown, N.C., and Spartanburg, S.C.

Ford ASSET program logo“This is the first ASSET program Ford has added in six years,” said Lisa Rhine, provost of TCC’s Chesapeake Campus. “We are proud to partner with Ford to offer this innovative and much-needed program.”

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 is an avenue to a job with one of the top car brands,” said Beno Rubin, director of the RAC. “Graduates are well prepared to work as Ford and Lincoln automotive technicians, with opportunities for advancement to shop foreman and other positions.”

Ford dealerships from Elizabeth City, N.C., to Richmond are supporting the program by donating vehicles, offering cooperative education sponsorships and serving on the program advisory committee.

Enrollment is now open for Ford ASSET. Interested student should first apply to TCC and then contact Steve Whitney, Ford ASSET instructor, at 757-822-5080 or Scholarships and financial aid are available. The program is eligible for the GI Bill.

TCC offers three more manufacturer training programs: Honda Professional Automotive Career Training (PACT); Mopar Career Automotive Program (Mopar CAP) for Chrysler, Jeep, Dodge, Ram and FIAT; and Toyota Technician Training and Education Network (T-TEN).

Students can also pursue a general Associate of Applied Science in Automotive Technology or career studies certificates in automotive chassis, automotive electronics, powertrains and engine performance.

For an overview of all TCC automotive programs, visit