(L-R): Niagara College Technologist Kevin Hachkowski, NC Board Chair John Scott, Carolyne Watts, plant manager at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, NC president Dan Patterson, Wayne Toth, Program Coordinator for NC’s Motive Power programs, Associate Dean of Trades Jeff Murrell, Gary Athoe, assistant plant manager at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, Motive Power Technician student Deepak Gupda, NC professor Peter D’Elia, interim dean of Media, Technology and Trades Marc Nantel and Gemma Copeland, personnel director at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant
Three new General Motors vehicles rolled into Niagara College’s Motive Power Lab, destined for many years as key learning tools for up and coming technicians.
The vehicles, a 2018 Chevrolet Silverado 1500, a 2018 Chevrolet Suburban and a 2018 Cadillac XTS, were generously donated to Niagara College by General Motors Canada to increase the hands-on learning opportunities offered to students. The vehicles contain some of the most current automotive technologies employed in modern consumer cars, and will allow students to gain real-world experience diagnosing, fixing, and replacing these technologies.
In addition, General Motors donated $50,000 to support the purchase of instructional equipment in the College’s recently opened Green Automotive Technology Lab. The 3,600-square-foot lab boasts electric vehicle charging stations, hybrid and electric motor diagnostic and simulation tools, alternative fuels technology, and vehicles that allow students unfettered access to the technology that will dominate the roads of the future. The Green Automotive Technology Lab will also be a hub for research activities into the future of automotive technology, working in concert with the College’s Research and Innovation division.
Carolyne Watts, plant manager at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant, presented the donation to Niagara College president Dan Patterson at the College’s Rankin Technology Centre.
“General Motors Canada is proud to support Niagara College with this gift,” said Watts. “The new Green Automotive Technology Lab and its innovative curriculum will no doubt further Niagara College’s leadership in automotive education and training, and help support the changing needs of an evolving auto industry.”
General Motors Canada has long worked with Niagara College’s school of trades to provide guidance and input on program and curriculum development, and many NC grads go on to become service technicians or service managers in GM dealerships across the country. On Aug. 27, 2015 GM Canada also donated a salvaged 2015 Chevrolet Camaro SS, which students rebuilt over a period of two years, giving them the opportunity to practice hands-on body repair techniques.
NC president Dan Patterson and Carolyne Watts, plant manager at General Motors Canada’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plan, stand with a donated 2018 Chevrolet Silverado
GM’s St. Catharines Propulsion Plant also partners with the College on several environmental initiatives, including collaborating for World Environment and Earth Day events, and hosting student field projects from the Ecosystem Restoration post-graduate program since 2011, and student interns from the Environmental Management and Assessment post-graduate program since 2013.
“Niagara College is incredibly thankful to GM Canada for this generous gift, and for their ongoing support of our School of Trades,” said Niagara College president Dan Patterson. “We pride ourselves on offering students a unique formula of hands-on, experiential training with the tools and technologies being used in industry, both now and in the future. This donation will allow our Motive Power students to train on the latest and greatest technologies in the automotive industry. As graduates, they’ll be well-prepared to enter this constantly evolving market.”
Niagara College’s Motive Power Technician (Co-op) and Motive Power Techniques-Automotive programs prepare students for a successful career in the fast-paced and technologically advancing automotive industry. Successful graduates go on to pursue careers across Canada as automotive service technicians, service managers and advisors and more.