The rubber met the road this morning as Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin joined numerous dignitaries for the opening of Jefferson Community & Technical College Mercedes-Benz Accelerate program. The celebration is the culmination of more than a year of work to bring to fruition an apprenticeship program for future Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA) technicians. The classroom facility is located at 1226 Rowan Street in the Portland community.
The Mercedes-Benz Accelerate program will prepare 16 students in this inaugural class to become a Mercedes-Benz Certified Systems Technician Level 1 in just three semesters. Students will train on Mercedes-Benz vehicles and intern at a Mercedes-Benz dealership with an opportunity to gain full-time employment at a local or regional location after completing the program.
Bevin, along with Kentucky Secretary of Education and Workforce Development Derrick Ramsey, Louisville Metro Mayor Greg Fischer and MBUSA Vice President of Customer Service Christian Treiber, cut the ribbon on the 12,000 square foot facility that includes traditional classroom space along with a high tech repair garage with 13 vehicles.
“I’m excited to showcase another powerful partnership that is pioneering solutions in workforce development like this one,” said Ramsey. “The collaboration efforts between Jefferson and Mercedes-Benz will address the current shortage of automotive technicians and bring about new career pathways for Kentucky’s workers. Together, this is a winning solution for everyone and is another shining example of what the Registered Apprenticeship program is all about.”
This is the latest addition to Jefferson’s cadre of business partnerships that has fostered the construction of a college curriculum meeting requirements for employment in a number of industries. The college boasts the largest number of technical education offerings in Kentucky in addition to associate degree programs for students planning to transfer to a four-year institution.
“There is no other place of higher learning positioned better than Jefferson to be the conduit for economic growth in Louisville and the rest of the state,” said Dr. Ty J. Handy, Jefferson president. “We are grateful for the efforts of Governor Bevin and Secretary Ramsey to bring this partnership to fruition.”
This renovated former warehouse expands Jefferson’s physical and educational footprint. Construction is currently underway on the Advanced Manufacturing and Information Technology (AMIT) Center which is slated to open in 2020.
The $24 million project is funded, in part, by private, municipal and college contributions in addition to $15 million committed by the Work Ready Skills Advisory Committee created by Governor Matt Bevin.