2019 June 27 Automotive Technology Building Grand Opening

2019 June 27 Automotive Technology Building Grand Opening


welcome to a historic day for a florida gateway college we’re bringing back automotive technology to this campus has been gone for many many years it was housed in another facility on campus this one has been repurposed and I want to tell you a little bit about the story I was president of the chamber last year and part of being president-elect you got to go to a lot of functions so I was invited to go to round three more Toyota they were having a mixer and when the den general manager found out I was there he sought me out and he says I need technicians bad and he called John gapi from Southeast Toyota who was also at this at this mixer and says we need technicians bad and so I went to dr. Barrett because when dr. Barrett got here four years ago he actually did a study on what it would take to bring automotive to our campus and I went to him and he said you know what let’s bring the dealers together let’s bring the Automobile Dealers Association together the Morgan Auto Group people southeast Toyota let’s have an automotive summit and see what it would take to make something like this happen so we got together we we met everybody talked about what their challenges were how it’s not not a glamorous career and how you can really make a lot of money at it what our challenges we’re going to be including what it would cost to get it put back together here on campus and we applied for a grant we didn’t get the grant dr. Barrett said we’re going to do it anyway and so we reached out to some folks in the industry and here we are today and under the leadership of dr. Barrett this is a reality of day and I don’t think we could have pulled this off without dr. Barrett’s leadership here in Florida gateway college thank you I know when we first we first came in here and looked at this facility it wasn’t really something to be proud of but I think today as you can see it’s something we can all be proud of we’re going to start we’re going to change the the way we’re doing things a little bit because we have some speakers who are in route I’m going to start with introducing leap in shock our executive director of the foundation who is going to have some remarks and also introduce some special guests we have here to speak to you about how this is going to be one of the most successful programs in the state late thank you Mike welcome everybody as Mike mentioned this really is a story of perseverance community and collaboration and as Mike mentioned when we didn’t when we applied for this grant from the state of Florida and the governor’s office it was truly one of the most well-written grants our office had ever written and dr. Barrett gives it gives our grant writer a lot of credit for that and at the end of the day it just still didn’t come through there are other projects that the state of Florida felt were more important than this one at the time so we were building the relationship Morgan Auto Group came in and they were it was about two years ago as Mike mentioned and they were just starting to get their feet wet in Columbia County in Lake City so we started building that relationship through Mike’s initial visit with them and the former general manager of Toyota and we finally got to the point where we said how can we get the Morgan Auto Group and specifically Larry Morgan here on campus to share with us share with him our vision dr. Barrett’s vision for the future of this program so mr. Morgan finally came and we finally got him up here and for those of you who know him and for those for those of you who also don’t he’s a quiet man and he doesn’t say very much and we talked to him and we told them our vision and he listened and it’s one of the best things you can do as a successful business person as a fundraiser as somebody trying to raise money for the college is just listen and listen to the needs of what your customer need is wanting so we toured the facility and he told us as he left he said let me think about this I’ll get back with you in two weeks we felt pretty good about that that wasn’t bad we thought we had an opportunity to build a partnership so two weeks passed and to his word he gave us gave us a call and it wasn’t just dr. Barrett Lee Mike he didn’t just say we’re gonna help we’re gonna do this program he had already had gotten with his team and specifically Jo Schluter who’s with us here today as well it was a major part of this renovation for us and they had outlined an entire plan on how they were going to help this College repurposed this facility to what you see today and that plan was we’re gonna get you to the Florida automotive dealers Association and see how they can help we’re gonna reach out to all of our vendors all of the people we do business with that help us build our shops and move forward on how they can help donate equipment and stop this shop with all the wonderful equipment and lifts you see with you today and they got to work they absolutely got to work on our behalf and we assisted we helped I want to personally also thank dr. Barrett and John Jewett who helped us with this program you know you’ve got three guys here and might be fluent in four of us who really don’t know how to put together an auto shop so we relied on their expertise as much as we could to help us out and I think we did pretty good thank you [Applause] but it is extremely extremely important that we recognize those vendors those donors to this program who donated a majority of the equipment you see in front of you today the college really from a financial standpoint has a minimal investment cash wise in this in this facility a majority of this came from the donors and we cannot thank them enough so specifically there are about 15 companies that really step to bat and came through for us I just want to mention them here today we may we’ll do the applause at the end so we don’t get bogged down for each one but southeast Toyota distributors who were the first ones to step up I know Mike personally traveled to Jacksonville and picked up some of the equipment for us Dyl air controls dealer general supply company deluxe systems industrial washer services pro cut international John Dow industries tropical CPS automotive hunter engineering Samson corporation also Joe Schluter personally made contributions of some equipment and to companies that they’re the ones that you really can visualize and see the work that they did and what’s really important about these two companies and they’re the last but not least certified hydraulics and automotive development group we really owe a lot to them because these are actually two competitors who do the same thing but they came together in a collaborative effort to put this together so automotive development group came in and said they said we’ll find all this equipment and certified hydraulics installed all of it for us and again all of that was donated it was donated work donated equipment through our foundation that we could donate to the college to get this program off the ground so please please join me in giving them a warm round of applause [Applause] like anything else if you want success it’s going to take time and it’s going to take hard work and like I mentioned at the beginning this was just a story of perseverance community and collaboration and we are just honored to be a part of it so thank you again for coming today and thank you again to all the donors who have stepped up and donated to us we will mention one more thing we did receive our first car donation a couple weeks ago and shameless plug we need some vehicles to work on as well so we’re gonna continue working hard on that if you know someone out there as I do a vehicle that they may want to donate to the program for us to take apart and put back together we’ll gladly do that so Sam and Tammy Hall where our very first Auto mode our deal donors who donated vehicle to us so I want to give them recognition as well so thank you again for coming today it’s a pleasure to be here thank you [Music] [Applause] okay another supporter of this program and he is a friend of mine a friend in the college he’s been a trusty member for many many years and he is now our state representative from McLennan Baker County I want to introduce our state representative mr. Chuck Brannon yep I apologize somebody asked me the other day what the hardest part of being in the legislature was I said it’s keeping my cows fed I’ve gone so much so I was across town picking up a ton account feed so I hope security or the deputies don’t get me out parking on the grass and I ran inside here because I’m pulling the trailer but but thank y’all for uh for being here today thank you for our supporters our donors all of our partners and what a big group we have here today that just shows that we really we really live in a blessed community all the communities here in this part of the state we live in the best part of the state and we know that we’re proud that you’re here this is just probably one more good thing happening here at the college I’ve had the honor I guess what Mike about I think June first would have been 17 years that I’ve served on the board of trustees and of course now I wear two hats as a member of the legislature but uh it’s just one more good thing happening enrollment is up we kind of buck the trend here at Florida gateway college I almost said Lake City Community College because I’m so used to saying that after all these years but here at Florida gateway college we buck the trend you know enrollment at community colleges or state colleges generally goes up during a downturn and in the in the economy in a downtime and economic times but even here we’re the last good run we’ve had here in the last two or three four years the economy our enrollment is still up and that’s exactly opposite because of course in a downturn people lose their jobs they want to go back to college and they want to go back and get even what we’re talking about here today Career and Technical Training but enrollment is up I don’t know what the numbers are but you know what if you get a degree from Florida Gateway college and you transfer to a State University our students GPAs are generally in the top two and three or four I know last year we were probably in the top three I don’t know what the numbers are this year but we’re not hear about that today because everybody doesn’t go to a to a university and thank goodness is the state and the legislature and the governor are starting to recognize that we’re here about vocational career and technical training and what a wonderful and beautiful facility here and the pushing in state government at least now is to provide jobs where jobs are needed and I’m certainly automotive technology is an area that we need we need jobs and good jobs there’s nothing better no more honorable thing to do than to be able to have a family and take care of it and have a good-paying job so in a vocational and Technical Program you can get that type of degree or certificate in a short amount of time and certainly for a loss a lot less money than you can at the University not to say it’s bad you go to college because we don’t want to knock that – and go to one extreme or the other but they’re both important so we’re glad that the college has been open take this program on and convert this facility over to what it is I think this year the legislature just to show you how how the trend is going I think we approved about 40 million dollars for a job growth grant fund and maybe another 10 million dollars for for a Florida pathways to career opportunities grandson I’ll be quiet as hot as warm in here I’ll close by saying one thing that I always try to do and brick and mortar and and an equipment steal is fine but there’s another piece of the puzzle in education and what’s that and that’s our teachers and we always want to thank our teachers and our staff and our administrators here you know the thing that that puts it all together that makes books and teaching manuals come to life and really hum with the words inside of them are our teachers and we always want to recognize them I present teachers and future teachers that have covered this program I’ll close by saying this the fourth of July is coming up we’re the luckiest people in the world we get to call ourselves Americans but you don’t want better than that we get to call Florida home and I’ll get one step better than that we get the called North Florida home so god bless america god bless Florida and especially god bless Florida Gateway college thank you all right thank you represented I wanted to recognize our Superintendent of Schools likes cars VOA’s here Lex [Applause] and now I’m gonna bring leap in shot back as he comes up to do some more remarks I’ll be extremely brief all I want to do at this point is welcome up to speak the chairman of the Morgan Auto Group our friend our wonderful contributor and for me personally fellow Missouri Tiger Larry Morgan thank you lady thank you Mike thank you ladies and gentlemen all my teammates from the Roundtree poor organization we’re really proud to be here today I tell you I have flash back when I walked in this room of what this building looked like back the first time we saw it and you know Larry and two Larry’s got together Glee and you know weep weep we had we had vision and it all turned out great and here a lot of people to thank for it you know our company we hope to employ as many of these young people as will have us you know there’s a huge opportunity to the whole nation right today the nation has needs 75,000 automotive technicians and ladies and gentlemen they can make a really really really good living and working a you know and have all kinds of benefits and work in a great environment and do a good thing for mankind and take care of their families and all the things that was said here previously so with that being said we’re very appreciative of our vendors that we didn’t have to twist their arms very hard we especially want to thank Joe Schlueter who actually put the nitty-gritty together and got all this stuff together and we can’t wait to come back and actually see these young people learning of really honorable trade and we’re hoping be able to play a big part in their employment and thank you all for being here and for those of you that are our customers thank you for that as well thank thank you visa warning I can bring up Randy Hulk Randy’s title is director of business and education initiatives for the Florida Automobile Dealers Association Randy well I thank you all for being here as well I tell you I can’t I almost didn’t know I was in the same place after seeing this from the very first time it hit boxes everywhere that room in there you couldn’t even get in and out of because there was just all kinds of equipment everywhere but this is a great facility and I have to tell you I’ve been doing this for 20 years this is the first new facility that I can think of in the past decade and it may be even longer than that the last new facility I was the dedication I was at was down at Seminole State College so there there he has been a long time since we’ve seen any new capacity come online and there aren’t too many people on this planet that I would get in my car and drive three and a half hours for on 75 and then drive three and a half hours back except for the two Larry’s I have immense respect for both of them guys your vision is beautiful and I thank you for it Thank You Larry [Music] okay I’m going to turn it over to the president of Florida gateway college who is going to be brief dr. Larry Barrett so I have a lot of people to thank so I’ll be brief but I’m besides everyone who’s been thanked today I want to thank facility staff of a college that helped immensely pull this together and some of them are with us here today and I know we’ve changed electricity around and lights and all sorts of things so thank you so much for all you’ve helped us do today I want to thank you for that and even though I may had the initial vision to this there’s a lot of people to thank and as Li and Mike said about three months ago we came to a point that three bureaucrats couldn’t pull this off any further and in brandy and mr. Morgan and and Joe and everybody helping us so I do want to acknowledge I’m John Jewett who is the executive director of workforce and technical education here John you I just stand for a second so he’s took a lot of my abuse over the last year and I also want to thank our new faculty member I’m Steve Adler who has over 30 plus years of experience as a master technician and he came on board and he worked through the educational process with us and I’m I’m so proud to have him here and he’s taking us over that hurdle so Steve please stand up and I know his wife is here with him today too [Music] I will be brief and mr. Morgan stole some of my thunder but um in today’s a national headlines auto nation is looking to hire 500 technicians in the United States and are offering to all sorts of incentives because they’re lacking auto technicians but we want to do it of the Morgan Auto Group by the way not auto detective but I’m the average salary for a technician in the United States the average starting salary is forty two thousand six hundred sixty dollars as mr. Morgan said there’s 76 thousand current openings yearly annual openings and the state of Florida if you take a look at the Florida economic opportunity to digest currently there’s twelve hundred and ninety four positions for technicians in the state of Florida very important and I am anticipating based on our market survey there’s over a hundred technicians openings between Jacksonville and Gainesville and an assortment of dealerships and other districts so more than that probably even according to Randy so this is well needed for the community you know from the past year or two representative Brandon trusty Brandon mentioned technical education has gotten a roof a renewed emphasis in the state of Florida the nation and I will just say this is not a political thing we’ve neglected it for thirty years we’ve neglected it and we’ve not done it for a comprehensive State College Community College you want to call us that we offer things in general liberal arts to technical education and we offer a lot of those technical education programs and we’re committed to doing that but it’s not going to take over night to build technical education is going to need everyone it’s going to need the morgan’s of the world the Joe Schuler’s of the world Larry Barretts of the world and everyone just to proclaim that technical education needs to be supported so after neglect for thirty years it just can’t happen overnight but it’s the perfect storm here at Lake City we’ve done it together we’ve put together what I would call a great package a great curriculum that’s been reviewed grain equipment that we have from partners throughout the state we have the talent we have mr. Hagler and we have mr. Jewett to help us guide us in the way and we have some vision and we have support and I think we’re gonna have a very we’re gonna have not just good automotive technician program we’re gonna have the best we’re going to surpass Seminole State this I shouldn’t go on record to say that and I think you know we have the perfect opportunity and people think rural is is a negative browse a positive we have our dorms which we reopen we have people from across the state of Florida that can come and be in our dorms and um and take this program so thank you thank you so much it’s been a long time coming and I can’t wait to oh by the way I want to say could the two students we have two students with us today and that’s all about students that’s why we’re here we’re here to help the students I know we have two prospective students that are starting in August I met earlier today did you please stand the two students if there’s more students please let me in thank you so much for considering Florida gateway college and we’re looking forward to be working in our communities and at that I would like to are we going to turn it back over to Mike so thank you so much [Applause]


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