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Mazda Canada donates vehicle to Okanagan College; students get hands-on training opportunity
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Mazda Canada donates vehicle to Okanagan College; students get hands-on training opportunity
Students in Okanagan College’s Motor Vehicle and Collision Repair trades programs received a little zoom zoom recently from Mazda Canada Inc. in the form of a vehicle donated for training purposes.
Mazda5
The vehicle, a 2015 Mazda5, was damaged in transit. Mechanically sound but dented, scratched and minus a window, it presents a perfect hands-on learning opportunity for students of the College’s foundation and apprenticeship programs dedicated to getting our cars, trucks, and SUVs back on the road.  

The donation has a local connection in that one of the valley’s prominent auto dealers helped to set it in motion. Back in January, Brian August, Dealer Principal for Kelowna Motors for Mazda, penned a letter of support indicating that a donated vehicle would greatly benefit College students studying the automotive trades.

“Our company has experienced the success of the Okanagan College’s Automotive Service Technician (AST) programs first hand through hiring a number of its graduates over the years,” says August (pictured here, centre, flanked by his son Matt August (left), General Manager of Kelowna Motors, and Dennis Gabelhouse (right), Chair of the Bright Horizons Building for Skills Campaign.)

“Okanagan College’s graduates have joined our team fully prepared and equipped to not only perform their roles but to also contribute in a meaningful way to the success of our dealership," August adds. “We believe there is a definite need to support the automotive industry demand for the supply of a skilled workforce that is job-ready, and highly trained and we hope this vehicle will benefit students across a variety of automotive trades training programs.”

The Mazda5 is set to get a makeover from Okanagan College’s foundation and apprentice Collision Repair students, who will repair the damage to the car’s body and windows—returning it to its intended showroom look. “Our trade training is over 70% hands on,” says John Euloth, Chair of Collision Repair.

“With this donation, students will have the opportunity to learn the latest vehicle build technologies, materials and safety restraint systems that are currently entering our markets.”

Following the collision repair and finishing work, the Mazda5 will be shared by the College’s AST and Collision Repair shops, providing a variety of “under the hood” and exterior training scenarios for many years to come.

Mazda Canada has donated vehicles to the College over the years, dating back to 1991, when it first provided a vehicle for training purposes. Earlier this month, students in this year’s Collision Repair Technician Certificate program class completed restored to mint condition a 2013 Mazda 3 with significant damage to its rear-passenger side.

Mazda3 - damageMazda3 - fixed

For more information about Okanagan College’s Motor Vehicle and Collision Repair trades programs, please visit www.okanagan.bc.ca/trades