Delaware Technical Community College broke ground this week on a $5.4 million, 13,500-square-foot Automotive Center of Excellence on the College’s Owens Campus in Georgetown.
This facility, along with the College’s new training center in Middletown, will house the first diesel mechanic training program in the region.
The ACOE will double the number of automotive technicians trained at Delaware Tech in Georgetown each year from 20 to 40 and will allow the college to train up to 15 diesel mechanics per year.
“The construction of this facility is in direct response to a dire workforce need for more diesel mechanics and auto technicians in our state and our region,” Delaware Tech President Mark T. Brainard said. “We are thankful for the generous support of our government and community partners, who are the reason we are able to break ground on this project today.”
Delaware Tech received a $1.97 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) to support the construction of the facility, along with $1.8 million from the state’s Higher Education Fund, and $120,000 from Sussex County Council. This funding is in addition to support from many organizations and individuals in the state.
The total cost to build the center is $5.4 million. In addition to the government support mentioned above, the following organizations and individuals pledged donations that enabled the college to secure the 35 percent match required by the EDA:
- Floyd A. Megee Motor Company
- i.g. Burton & Company
- Preston Auto Group
- USDA – Rural Development
- Winner Automotive Group
- Carman Auto Group
- First State Chevrolet
- Willis Ford
- Chevrolet of Dover
- Matt Slap Subaru
- The Volvo Group
- AutoTeam Delaware
- Bumpers and Company
- Matt Kehoe
- Meineke of Lewes
- Nancy Jo and William Pepper
- Delaware Automobile and Truck Dealers’ Association
Labor market data indicate more than 3,000 automotive technicians and more than 800 diesel mechanics are employed across Delmarva with average annual earnings of $39,874 and $44,595, respectively.
Over the next ten years, the region is projected to have 3,278 openings for automotive technicians due to retirements, job turnover and a seven percent growth rate.
Nine hundred forty-eight job openings are expected for diesel mechanics in the same period due to retirements, job turnover, and a 17 percent growth rate.
The expected completion date for the center is November 2020.