Aims Community College adds a new automotive program

Aims Community College unveiled a new program April 16 for its next semester aimed at students interested in an automotive career.

The new Ford Automotive Student Service Educational Training program – or ASSET – is designed to fill the need for specialized technicians, according to a news release.

Aims Automotive Programs Chair Larry Baker said he sees the partnership between Aims and Ford as a win-win in the April 16 news release.

“It’s a way for Ford to get more trained technicians in their door,” Baker said. “There’s been a shortage of automotive technicians, and all manufacturers are struggling to find people. Ford has come up with a pretty neat collaboration with schools.”

The Ford ASSET program is meant to prepare students for a career to work at a Ford or Lincoln dealership. According to officials, it’s the 41st ASSET program in the country and the only one in Colorado.

Students can earn a two-year Associate of Applied Science degree in the ASSET program. Ford and Aims designed the curriculum, which includes classroom, lab, and hands-on work experience.

It’s an eight-week semester at the Aims Automotive & Technology Center in Windsor. Once the classroom study is complete, students enter an eight-week paid internship program at a local Ford dealership, allowing them to earn money while learning.

Over two years, an ASSET student will earn Ford certifications in eight areas: Steering and  Suspension; Electrical Systems; Climate Control; Manual Transmission; Automatic Transmission; Brake Systems; Diesel Engine Repair and Performance; and Gasoline Engine Repair and Performance.

Valeska Howton, an Aims graduate in the automotive program, will be the lead instructor for Aims’ ASSET program.

Marilyn Schock, chairwoman of the Aims Board of Trustees, said the Board approved moving forward with this program in December.

“With our board’s overwhelming approval of the Ford ASSET program, we send a clear message: we are dedicated to providing students with a competitive edge,” said Schock.

“Through the Ford ASSET Program, Aims is poised to contribute knowledgeable, proficient, and readily employable talents to the automotive workforce,” said Dr. Leah L. Bornstein, CEO and president of Aims Community College. “Gaining that hands-on experience that makes them industry-ready, almost from day one.”