The College of New Caledonia will officially open the Chieftain Auto Parts Lab today, marking the beginning of what CNC hopes to be a growing trend of corporate partnerships.
The local auto parts company donated $25,000 to CNC to create a computer lab in the automotive area of the John A. Brink Trades and Technology Centre at the college.
“We are delighted to create this legacy in our community college,” said Chieftain owner/manager Trevor Heinze. “These students are our future and it means a great deal to Chieftain to give them the best technology available to help them learn and grow into professionals in the auto industry.”
Chieftain Auto Parts has also grown over the years, from a staff of three people in 1973 to more than 35 staff in two local stores and about 20,000 square feet of automotive and other parts.
“It’s really quite gratifying to see students using computers in a classroom that had nothing but desks last year,” said Randall Heidt, Director of Communications and Development at CNC. “We obviously needed the computers, but just didn’t have them in the budget, which is why we are so grateful to Chieftain.”
The Chieftain Auto Parts Lab is now filled with 16 computers and monitors, a printer, video camera and a large LCD TV. It also has a scanner called Elmo, which allows the instructors to display auto parts on the TV so students can clearly see what the instructor is talking about. “It sure beats everyone huddling around a part trying to get a glimpse of it while the teacher is talking,” said auto instructor Bill Deutch, who was instrumental in the sponsorship. “It really improves the quality of education for the students, while also making things easier for the instructor.”
Prince George-Valemount MLA Shirley Bond said she was impressed with the unique partnership and hopes to see similar deals at CNC and other institutions in the future.
“This is a fantastic development for students in Prince George and the North,” said Bond. “These trades are extremely important to our economy and students need to be trained on the latest technology. Thanks to Chieftain Auto Parts for their donation and this unique partnership with CNC.”
“We really appreciated Minister Bond’s help navigating through the government rules regarding naming of buildings and classrooms,” Heidt said. The CNC lab will be named after Chieftain Auto Parts until March 31, 2015. Heidt said at basically $5,000 per year it’s an excellent value for Chieftain and, of course, a huge benefit to the students. Heidt hopes more companies will contact him with their sponsorship ideas in the future. “We are interested in hearing all kinds of ideas,” Heidt said.
Heinze said Chieftain also gave students access to its parts database so they can conveniently order parts at a discounted rate.
CNC’s IT department added to Chieftain’s contribution so a few extras and upgrades could be available for students.
For more information:
CNC Director Communications and Development
CNC auto instructor
Chieftain Auto Parts