DMACC’s Automotive Technology Center, initiated with an anonymous gift of $1,000,000, will create a collaborative state-of-the-art training environment on the DMACC Ankeny Campus that integrates automotive industry design with new technologies; offer space for current and future world class transportation technology training with the flexibility to grow as the industry changes and continues DMACC’s legacy of delivering a quality education in an industry environment, today and into the future.
These artist renderings show the new Automotive Technology Center Project scheduled to open on the DMACC Ankeny Campus in the spring of 2021. The project will:
- Create new classrooms and a student lounge
- Add 22 additional vehicle work bays
- Renovate 9 classrooms
- Add new ceilings, lighting, and HVAC system
- Improve the student and visitor experience by creating a showroom, conference room, offices, and public entryways
Why is it Important?
The dizzying pace of change in the automotive service and repair industry has encouraged DMACC to develop a program that delivers a deeper understanding of the technology that goes into the modern, more sophisticated automobile. The conveniences and safety features we take for granted require specialized knowledge to repair when the need arises. However, DMACC’s current facility was designed to provide instruction on the automobile systems of the 1970’s and 1980’s – a time when computers and other independent systems in cars were smaller and few and far between.
Today’s cars are a computer integrated network of specialty systems, requiring more lab space per student to account for the integration of technology. As multi-functional systems like collision avoidance, self-parking assistance, adaptive suspensions, remote communication systems, driver vision systems, and driver-less cars become the norm, DMACC must continue to play a key role ensuring the next generation of automotive technicians is fully-trained and ready to enter the workforce.
Enrollment in DMACC’s Automotive Technology programs has more than doubled since 1985. Over that same period, DMACC increased the scope of its automotive programming to deliver the type of hands-on training students use immediately in the region’s competitive job market, including the addition of offerings specific to GM, ASEP, Ford Asset, and Chrysler CAP.
The auto industry is thriving and auto mechanics are in high-demand. A quick look at the numbers illustrates the need. In the United States, there are more than 254 million passenger vehicles on the road. The average age of these cars is 11.5 years old. This means that the need for skilled automotive service professionals is greater than ever before. We know that this is the case locally.
DMACC focuses on preparing students for careers in the automotive field, and works closely with regional and national industry professionals to encourage growth and training in preparation for real-world work environments. DMACC’s program is also an economic driver in the region. Average dealership technicians earn more than $40,000 annually, with the top ten percent earning nearly $60,000 annually.
Increased enrollment, coupled with the more technologically advanced cars of today, and more automotive programs, has resulted in the urgent need for an advanced and expanded automotive facility.