Advance Auto Parts commits $250K to combat lack of diversity among auto techs in Wake County

Wake County News

(File photo)

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Raleigh-based Advance Auto Parts is partnering with Wake Tech Community College to address the lack of diversity across the automotive industry.

According to Zippia, 91% of technicians identify as male and more than two-thirds of technicians identify as white or non-Hispanic. Further, the U.S. currently faces a worsening shortage of automotive technicians and will be short 642,000 technicians by 2024 if the current trend holds. 

Advance Auto Parts Foundation has committed $200,000 for a recruitment initiative with Wake Tech to increase student diversity in the school’s automotive systems technology and collision repair programs.

Advance Auto Parts has also committed $50,000 in funding to outfit the school’s tool rooms to support student learning. 

“At Advance, we understand the value of having an industry that reflects the diversity of the customers it serves,” said Tom Greco, president and chief executive officer of Advance Auto Parts. “By providing resources and support to Wake Tech and its new Hendrick Center, we hope to inspire students from all backgrounds and experiences to explore careers in automotive service and repair, which will help address the technician shortage and benefit our industry and society as a whole.” 

“Increasing student diversity in our automotive repair programs is a strategic imperative for WTCC,” said Wake Tech President Dr. Scott Ralls. “Thanks to the generosity of the Advance Auto Parts Foundation, students from a variety of backgrounds will now be inspired to pursue careers in the automotive field and provided the financial support they need to complete their studies.”  

Wake Tech’s automotive systems technology degree program features training in advanced diagnostics, brakes, electrical/electronic systems, engine performance, steering/suspension, transmission, climate control and manual drive trains. The collision repair and refinishing technology program includes painting and refinishing, including special finishes, non-structural and structural repair, automotive plastic and adhesives identification repair, automotive detailing, body shop operations and auto body estimating. Beginning in September, both programs will be housed at the new Hendrick Center for Automotive Excellence, located on the Scott Northern Wake Campus.  

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