• Mt. Hood Community College Auto Tech Program Partners With Subaru of America

    Gresham, Ore. – The Mt. Hood Community College Automotive Technology program has entered into a partnership with Gresham's newest resident, Subaru of America. The partnership will provide specialized training at Mt. Hood specifically for Subaru autos, while providing immediate opportunities for students to receive hands-on training on Subaru cars and at Subaru dealerships. This follows in the successful footsteps of previous similar partnerships with Ford, Chrysler and Honda.

    "We are thrilled to work with Subaru on what we hope will grow into a successful partnership for years to come," said Mark Wreath, MHCC's Dean of Applied Technologies.

    MHCC's automotive program will receive curriculum directly from the automaker to imbed in the instructional program. In this way, students will be getting cutting edge information and earn nationally recognized factory training credentials from Subaru of America.

    The two-year Associate degree programs are unique in another way, in that the time a student spends is split between on-campus classes and training at MHCC, and actual hands-on work experience at a local partner dealership. This has proved to be an incredibly successful model, as MHCC many students have found themselves employed well before graduation. In fact, the MHCC Automotive Program enjoys a 100% employment rate for graduates of the program since 1996.

    But even with the success of the programs, MHCC instructors say that more students are needed as the auto industry rebounds from the financial meltdown of 2008. In 2015, Americans bought a record 17.5 million vehicles, up from 10.4 million in 2008, and sector wide employment in the industry grew by 640,000 jobs.

    "I could place twice the number of students I have right now into paid positions," said MHCC auto instructor Steve Michener.

    The Subaru program at MHCC begins in the fall of 2016. At about the same time, a new 600,000 square foot Subaru distribution center in Gresham should be completed and open for operations.

    Subaru has recently seen a tremendous amount of growth in the North American market. Last year, the company reached its sales goal of 600,000 cars nearly five years ahead of schedule, and marked its eighth straight year of increased sales.

    For more information and an application for the MHCC-Subaru program, visit www.mhcc.edu/AutomotiveTechnology/