IRONWOOD TOWNSHIP — Jon Parker, of State Farm Insurance in Ironwood, donated a 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid to the Gogebic Community College Automotive Technology program.
Parker has arranged a partnership between State Farm and GCC with automotive technology instructor Jon Werkmeister to donate a vehicle every year for use as a teaching aid.
The project began in December, said Parker. “It took a few months to get what they needed,” he said. The vehicle was shipped from Bartlett, Ill.
The partnership has saved the college thousands of dollars, said Werkmeister.
Werkmeister said GCC has received grants from the state of Michigan to purchase the equipment necessary to work on the hybrids. “It will introduce students to hybrid technology and help stay current in the industry,” he said.
Last year 30 students were enrolled in the automotive technology program, one of the core programs in technology at the college, Werkmeister said.
In the future, GCC plans to offer continuing education credits in the automotive technology field to help automotive technicians stay up to date, Werkmeister said.